Thursday, November 10, 2011

#Iran : #China -"There are no witnesses or physical evidence to prove that Iran is making nuclear weapons,"


A Chinese state newspaper said a standoff between Iran and the West over Iran's nuclear plans could erupt in military conflict.

"It is clear that contention between the various sides over the Iranian nuclear issue has reached white hot levels and could even be on the precipice of a showdown," the overseas edition of the People's Daily said in a front-page commentary.

If Iran refused to back down in the face of growing U.S. conviction that it was developing nuclear weapons, "the risks of war will grow", said the paper, noting reports that Israel could consider a military strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

The People's Daily is the top newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party and broadly reflects official thinking, as well as the anxieties weighing on Beijing after the latest U.N. nuclear agency report.

China's official Xinhua news agency also suggested that Beijing would respond warily to the report. The U.N. watchdog still "lacks a smoking gun", Xinhua said in a commentary.

"There are no witnesses or physical evidence to prove that Iran is making nuclear weapons," it said.

"In dealing with the Iran nuclear issue, it is extremely dangerous to rely on suspicions, and the destructive consequences of any armed action would endure for a long time."

China is likely to face difficult choices as it tries to keep steady ties with the United States, which is likely to introduce new unilateral sanctions on Iran.

"If these sanctions harm China's substantive interests, then China will have to respond in some way," said Li Hong, the secretary general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, a government-controlled body.

"It would certainly have an impact on bilateral relations," Li said in an more