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China, Russia not to condemn Iran N-plan

The Washington contends the Iran nuclear programme is meant to produce an atomic bomb.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 09:38 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Russia and China have rejected proposals from the United States and other veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council for a statement demanding that Iran clear up suspicions about its nuclear programme.

The Washington contends the Iran nuclear programme is meant to produce an atomic bomb.

The dispute over Security Council action raises the threat of an impasse and means that the US, Britain and France may not get their wish for a strong council statement. They believe such a text could further isolate Iran and compel it to abide by demands from the UN nuclear watchdog.

Ambassadors from the five nations all said publicly that discussions continued on several proposals, including one from the British and French that would urge Iran to stop enriching uranium, a process that can produce fuel for a civilian nuclear reactor or fissile material for an atomic bomb.

But a UN diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the discussions, said on Monday that Russia and China want the council to do one thing only: acknowledge the primary role of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, in handling the Iran issue.

The diplomat said that after three meetings to discuss the proposals, the Russians and Chinese showed little indication they would change their positions.

Last month, the IAEA's board voted to report Iran to the Security Council, saying it lacked confidence in Tehran's nuclear intentions and accusing Iran of violating the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

First Published: Mar 14, 2006 09:38 IST