With Russia increasingly frustrated by Iran’s recalcitrance, China has emerged as the lone holdout to a new United Nations resolution, which would focus sweeping financial and economic sanctions on Iran’s leadership, including a possible ban on sales of technology to its energy sector.
Mrs. Clinton — in a flurry of meetings this week in Europe, including one with the Chinese foreign minister — has tried to build momentum for new measures against Iran. Britain, France, and Germany the effort, and Russia, which has often blocked previous efforts, now seems ready to act.
Only China, which imports crude oil from Iran and has large investments in its oil and gas sector, has said it would prefer to continue negotiating with the Iranian government. With a veto in the United Nations Security Council, it could block a move to impose additional sanctions.