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Livni to China: Get tough on Iran

Israel’s foreign minister urged China to throw its weight behind international diplomatic pressure on Iran.

Tzipi Livni addressed government think-tank members in Beijing on Monday at the beginning of a visit aimed at persuading China to close ranks with Western powers in passing a third round of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran unless it abandons its nuclear program.

China, which depends on Iran for much of its oil imports and sells it cheap products, has voiced preference for negotiations with Tehran.

“Iran analyzes the world’s conduct on this issue, and only a determined, united world can stop it,” Livni said in her speech.

“Not only countries should be active against Iran. The business sector, especially the Chinese business sector, has an important role to play in any activity against a nuclear Iran. Neither China nor the world can afford the domino effect that will be created in the region if the Iranian regime manages to obtain the technology it seeks.”

In a potential embarassment for Livni, who has hopes of one day running for Israeli prime minister, Ha’aretz reported in its weekend edition that in private she has voiced doubt over the urgency of the Iranian threat to the Jewish state. The foreign minister had no immediate comment on the report.

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