Palestinian leader pleads with China's President to approve sanctions on Iran

According to Chinese sources, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas explained that for once, most Arab nations – and the Palestinians, most of all – are on the same side as Israel and the West in their profound anxiety about Iran’s nuclear program and the threat it poses of regional violence.

Hey, I thought ISRAEL was the biggest threat to Middle East peace?

This was the first time a Palestinian leader supported Israel’s position on any Middle East issue, undertaking a mission to China in which several Israeli officials failed earlier this year.

Chinese president Hu Jintao was taken by surprise by the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’s plea to support tough sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program when they met in ShanghaiSaturday, May 1. He was even more taken aback by the argument that a Middle East war, a realistic peril in the absence of sanctions, would cost the lives of many Palestinians who would find themselves caught between the belligerents.

Mahmoud Abbas told the Chinese leader that he spoke on behalf of a majority of Arab rulers, in particular, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zaed al-Nahyan and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Palestinian cities have no defenses against their rockets should Iran and its allies, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas wage war against Israel, he said, and thousands of Palestinians in the line of fire would pay with their lives. He therefore pleaded with President Hu to drop his objections to harsh sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council as the only way to avert a conflict that could spark a Middle East conflagration.

The Chinese leader’s response is not known. However, one of Beijing’s main considerations in opposing painful sanctions against Iran, including an embargo on refined fuel products and arms, is its championship of the Third World nations’ position that Security Council sanctions are a blunt instrument all too often applied by the big powers, especially United States, to bend them to their will. DEBKA