BEIJING (AFP) – The United States said Wednesday it needed China’s support if progress is to be made in curbing Iran’s nuclear programme, ahead of crucial talks on the issue this month.
“If we are to make real progress on sending a consolidated message to Iran, we are going to need the support of China,” US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said on a visit to Beijing.
“We’re going to need to see more cooperation and coordination between the United States and China if we are going to be effective in Iran.”
China is a close ally of Iran, and has repeatedly opposed sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.
Tehran says the programme is for peaceful nuclear energy, but the West fears it masks a drive to make a nuclear bomb.
Negotiations over the issue have been strained but Iran has recently tried to make a show of greater cooperation since taking part in talks in Geneva with major world powers at the beginning of the month.
Iran and six other nations — Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the United States — are to meet at the end of October for a second round of talks aimed at allaying Western concerns over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Campbell was in Beijing for meetings with officials at China’s foreign ministry on a range of geopolitical issues and to lay the groundwork for a visit by President Barack Obama next month.