China on Thursday expressed its opposition to additional sanctions imposed by South Korea on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, repeating its call for more talks to resolve the standoff.
‘We don’t approve of unilateral sanctions on Iran,’ foreign ministry spokesman Jiang Yu told reporters, echoing statements made when the United States and the European Union slapped Tehran with punitive measures.
‘We hope relevant parties can stick to the direction of diplomatic resolution and seek an effective resolution through dialogue and negotiations’.
Following a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions in June, South Korea has joined the United States, the EU, Australia, Canada and Japan in taking unilateral measures to check Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Seoul said on Wednesday it would penalise a key Iranian bank and put all financial transactions with the Islamic republic under strict government supervision as part of sanctions over its controversial nuclear programme.
The South will impose a ‘heavy penalty’ on the Seoul branch of Bank Mellat, which allegedly facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions for Iranian nuclear, missile and defence entities, the foreign ministry said.