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Merkel discusses nuclear Iran with China's Wen

AFP · 1 Apr 2010, 14:05

Published: 01 Apr 2010 14:05 GMT+02:00

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The Chancellery said in a statement that the "detailed and friendly conversation" also covered the economic situation in the two countries, the world's number one and two exporters.

"The Chinese premier warmly welcomed the chancellor's plans to accept his invitation and travel with a business delegation to China this year," it said.

China and Germany are among the six world powers negotiating with Iran about its disputed nuclear programme.

Merkel has stepped up her rhetoric against the Islamic republic in recent months, saying the time was nearing for a new round of United Nations sanctions over its sensitive nuclear work.

But China, which is a veto-wielding power at the UN Security Council and recently replaced Germany as Iran's biggest trading partner, is seen as far more reticent.

Story continues below…

Western nations suspect Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge rejected by Tehran, which says its atomic programme is purely for civilian energy purposes.

On climate change, China has overtaken the United States as the top emitter of carbon blamed for global warming and came under fire for what was seen as a foot-dragging role in December's much-criticised UN climate summit in Copenhagen. But it, like Germany, has become a "powerhouse" in the field of clean energy with heavy investment in so-called green technology.

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Your comments about this article

15:31 April 1, 2010 by mixxim
How many of Iran's students were able to study in the west? Why do we continue to teach them this technology and even sell arms to other unstable countries? What was Kashoggi's origin?
16:51 April 1, 2010 by tlwinslow
Iran is a Shiite state, and a favorite Shiite doctrine is called Taqiyya, permission from Allah to lie to infidels to gain an ultimate victory for the spread of Islam and Sharia. Allah cannot be allowed to get nuclear weapons, period, for since the 7th cent. he has been commanding all true believers to muster all the force and equipment they can to wage ceaseless war on all unbelievers until the whole world submits to Islam and its horrible anti-Western Sharia, hence once Iran has nukes it will surely use them first on archenemy Israel, after which the world chaos will be unprecedented and nobody can predict the outcome. Since it's lying now about building nukes, it clearly plans to give them to its Hezbollah suicide bomber friends to sneak into Israel, after which it will disavow knowledge, hence Iran must not be allowed to even have a chance of getting nukes, and all military options should be on the table.
17:18 April 1, 2010 by Frenemy
@mixxxim: Kashoggi is cut from the same cloth as Viktor Bout (and Nicholas Cage). All mixed up in the unholy alliance of defense contractors, big business, and grand strategic politics.

And you'd be mistaken if you think the majority of these guys got their technical know-how in the West. Granted, there are guys with "unique" educational backgrounds like AQ Kahn, but nuclear proliferation masquerading as "education/outreach programs" has quite the inglorious history (further reading: "Atoms for Peace" Program)
03:52 April 2, 2010 by Ducano
We should welcome Iran becoming a nuclear power.That would level the international playing field.The US and Israel are now acting from a position of superior power and power corrupts.Absolute power corrupts absolutely.We can see that everywhere in the world today.No nation should enslave another.And all this hype about the dangers of Islam is just propaganda,so the west can go into Iran again and steal it`s natural resources,like they did under the shah.The US invaded Vietnam under false pretenses with that Bay of Tonkin incident.They repeated the same trick in Iraq and they are now preparing to do it to Iran.What gives them the right to play the world cop?Was the UN not supposed te fulfill that role?If you can`t even run your own country properly,you should stay the hell out of somebody else`s.
05:24 April 2, 2010 by kellermeyerm
Allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons would seriously undermine world peace, such as it is, because Iran is a Theocracy with a stated mission of destroying Israel. The U.S has liberated more countries to rule themselves than any other nation in the history of the world. Tell that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" to the mullahs, the shahs, the caliphs, the sheiks and the ayutullahs.

What history book are you reading? The U.S. did not invade Vietnam. You can't invade a country whose government has invited you to come to its defense. North Vietnam, another country at the time, invaded Vietnam. They were certainly not invited by the South Vietnamese government to help them defend against the aggressive Americans. And there's as much evidence to suggest there was a gulf of Tonkin incident as there is to deny it.

You say the U.S. used the same "trick" to invade Iraq, a country that had just recently raped, pillaged and set fire to a neighboring country. Should the world have let Saddam have his way in Kuwait to "level the playing field"?

The U.S. is playing "world cop" because somebody has to and the world had better believe that it would just as soon have the U.S. fulfilling that role as some totalitarian despot in the part of the world that considers suicide bombing a national sport.

Other than that, I have few opinions on the matter.
07:16 April 2, 2010 by richard_vijay
But first let Israel open its Dimona nuclear plat for inspection. The jews have of course nothing to hide...but in doing so they can undermine Iran;'s efftorts to obtain nukes.
10:31 April 2, 2010 by Aussiefrank
Is there anything that the Chinese dont veto?
11:10 April 2, 2010 by Celeon
@ Aussiefrank

Sure, they did not veto anything that was brought up in the council since its founding which did not directly affected China.

Of all members of the security council , China has handed in the least with only 6 vetoes up to this day.

The Soviet Union/Russia handed in 123 vetoes, the USA 82 vetoes , the UK 32 and France 18.

They surely cannot be called a roadblocker.
15:55 April 2, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
What are you guys even on about with whether or not it's ok to allow Iran to get the Bomb. It's obviously completely unacceptable, and if they were to acquire it, would be removed of that capability by the west with threat, or use, of arms. There is absolutely no question about that. The west will NEVER accept a nuclear-armed Iran in it's current state.

The only real issue here is how to kick them between the legs hard enough economically to make that threat of violence unnecessary.
18:50 April 2, 2010 by Henckel
It's really simple. If Iran gets close to getting the bomb, Israel will have to bomb them, no matter what the USA or anyone else says about iut. It's an existential threat to Israel, as Ahmadinejad himself has said on numerous occasions.
05:11 April 3, 2010 by wenddiver
It is kind of like if the US had discovered Japan's carrier Strike Forces off Hawaii on December 5, 1941.The US would not have been obliged to waite two more days for those forces to get in striking distance of the fleet. She had more than enough provocation to strike in self-defence as she did the Minnie-subs at the torpedo net, prior to the raid.

Israel is past the amount of provocation she has to put up with and can strike at any moment now. Her Air Force is certainly capable of doing the deed.

The US needs to consider how to get it's forces safely away (Iraq) and what our defence obligations are in Europe, if Nuclear (even small ) war comes.

Currently we do not have the capabilityof defending Europe from an Iranian nuclear missile in place.

The EU would not antagonize the Russians by building one.

Dark days ahead, thank God for the Israeli Air Force, if they can pull it off, maybe the Iranians won't drag the rest of the world into war. Now would be a good time to train pilots/buy aircraft.
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