Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Russia resists UN threat to Iran


Russia and China have openly opposed Western efforts to take Iran to the UN Security Council over Tehran's controversial nuclear activities.
The US and EU have been pressing for Iran to be referred to the Security Council, which can impose sanctions.

But Moscow and Beijing may block the plan, with Russia saying the current situation was "not irreversible".

Iran has threatened to bar snap inspections of its nuclear sites if it is referred to the Security Council.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he agreed that Iran should not become a nuclear power.

But the country, which has the power of veto on the Security Council, has been calling for more diplomacy.

The latest Russian statement is likely to disappoint the Europeans and the Americans who are pushing hard for the referral, says the BBC's Bethany Bell at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

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