China, who of the five countries that have veto power in the United Nations Security Council is the most economically dependent on Iran, came out against tough sanctions Thursday aimed at the clerical regime. According to the Chinese, “We’ve been making diplomatic efforts and we believe they have not been exhausted, and we will continue to work with other parties to push for a settlement to this issue.”
This development comes despite recent efforts by Israel to convince China that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe (Bogey) Ya’alon recently took an official trip to China in an effort to persuade them of such, though as of yet it seems they are either not convinced, or simply unwilling to have to deal with enforcing sanctions against a country they obtain most of their energy needs from.
Though they are against it, the big question remains how will they act in the security council when the sanctions come up for a vote. The United States, Britain, and France all support the moves against Iran, and Russia has been gradually moving towards supporting them as well. It is estimated that if the four all vote in favor, China would abstain rather than exercise its veto power in the council.
Meanwhile, disagreement about the breadth and severity of the sanctions have been cropping up between Israel and the US, with Israel insisting the the Sanctions be paralyzing and all-encompassing, and the US insisting that they be more limited and directed at the Iranian Islamic regime. It is still unclear when the Security Council will vote on possible sanctions, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the vote is still months away.
With the Iranian regime already in trouble and pressure coming from anti Government protests and a weakened economy, tough sanctions on Iran could serve to destabilize the regime.