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China Opposes South Korean Sanctions Against Iran

China has expressed opposition to South Korea's new sanctions on Iran for its suspected nuclear weapons program.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday China does not approve of the unilateral sanctions. She said the Chinese government hopes countries will instead stick to diplomatic efforts and seek a resolution through dialogue and negotiations.

Following a fourth round of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed in June, South Korea Wednesday joined the United States, the EU and other countries in imposing additional sanctions against Iran.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said the government is blacklisting 102 Iranian companies and 24 individuals. It also said South Korea will restrict its investment in Iran's gas and oil industries, and will increase inspections of cargo to and from Iran.

The United States hailed the new sanctions.

In a joint statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the sanctions strengthen the growing international resolve to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

South Korea debated imposing tougher sanctions on Iran for weeks. Iran supplies South Korea with 10 percent of its oil imports.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover for the development of atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.