China has been sincere in its efforts to uphold nuclear sanctions against Iran, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, though a spokesman would not deny that some Chinese companies may be providing restricted technology to Tehran.
The comments came after The Washington Post reported that the U.S. has asked Beijing to do more to stop Chinese companies from providing assistance and expertise to Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons and more powerful missiles.
In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the U.S. has told Beijing about its concerns about certain Chinese companies. China has said it would investigate, he said.
The Post reported Robert Einhorn, the State Department official who oversees the enforcement of sanctions against Iran, gave a "significant list" of such companies and banks to Chinese officials last month.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said China believes all countries should implement U.N. resolutions against Iran in a "comprehensive, accurate and earnest" manner.
"China has always been honest in implementing and fulfilling our international obligations and has taken a positive part in this regard," Ma said at a regularly scheduled briefing.
However, asked to deny outright that Chinese companies or banks were involved in transferring nuclear technology to Iran, Ma declined, saying only: "I've given a very comprehensive statement on our position."
In June, the U.N. imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
Western countries are concerned the program masks Iranian ambitions for making nuclear weapons.
Iran says it wants to enrich uranium to make fuel for a planned reactor network and denies accusations that it will use the program to make fissile warhead material.