China Raps Sanctions for Iran Arms Sales; U.S. Action Undermines Relations, Beijing Says
Byline: Bill Gertz, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
China's government yesterday demanded that the Bush administration lift sanctions imposed on six companies on charges of illicit sales to Iran, saying the action undermined Beijing's cooperation with the United States.
New details of the arms-related transfers were disclosed yesterday, including two chemical shipments from India to Iran, and Tehran's purchase of 800 high-powered sniper rifles from an Austrian gun maker.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing that the sanctions were unjustified and should be lifted.
A State Department spokesman said yesterday the Chinese objections would not change the U.S. decision.
The Bush administration announced this week it had imposed sanctions on six Chinese state-run companies, two Indian chemical manufacturers, and the Austrian arms maker for selling missile-related and weapons of mass destruction goods to Iran.
The sanctions were imposed under the 2000 Iran Nonproliferation Act.
"These entities are being sanctioned based on credible information that they transferred equipment and technology listed on the Multilateral Export Control Lists to Iran," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Tuesday.
Mr. Ereli said the sanctions, while limited, are "an important and effective tool in constraining Iran's efforts to develop missile and WMD capabilities."
"It does have an impact, I think, particularly in alerting governments to activity taking place in their countries," he said in a briefing. …