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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Rejects New Iran Draft

VIENNA -- Russia has rejected a new EU draft resolution on Iran that drops the threat of an immediate report to the UN Security Council over fears Tehran is developing atomic weapons, an EU diplomat said Thursday.

"The Russians don't like it. They say it's a move in the right direction but not far enough," the European Union diplomat said on condition of anonymity on the sidelines of a week-long IAEA board meeting. "The Russian ambassador made it very clear that the new draft was not acceptable."

He said the Russians objected to the fact that even though the new draft does not call for an immediate Security Council referral, a report to the council would be inevitable if the resolution is approved. The Security Council, the United Nations' highest body, can impose economic sanctions.

Of the 35 International Atomic Energy Agency board members, Russia, China and at least a dozen others oppose the EU and U.S. effort to haul Iran before the Security Council for breaching international nuclear obligations.

EU diplomats say Russia's support is crucial to achieving their aim of getting consensus on an IAEA resolution. The EU had removed the demand for an immediate council report from the text in the hope getting the backing of Russia and other opponents.

The diplomat said there was no reaction from China yet, though he expected its view would be similar to Russia's.