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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Holds Out Over Iran

VIENNA -- Top officials from the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan failed to persuade Russia that Iran's nuclear program should be reported to the UN Security Council, an EU diplomat said on Tuesday.

The diplomat was summarizing discussions on Iran at a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Eight.

"Russia still sees room for diplomacy in Vienna," the EU diplomat said on condition of anonymity. The dinner meeting took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

He said Russia remained convinced that scrutiny of Tehran's nuclear program was a matter for the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency and not the Security Council, which could impose economic sanctions.

The diplomat said the other G8 countries would continue trying to persuade the Russians that it was necessary to report Iran to the UN's highest body for hiding its uranium enrichment program and failing to cooperate with the nearly three-year-old IAEA investigation.

"The question now is to keep the momentum going," the diplomat said.

Britain, France and Germany have already circulated "elements of a resolution" among some members of the IAEA's board of governors. Two EU diplomats said the draft urged the board to report Iran's past "breaches and failures to comply with its [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty] safeguards agreement" to the Security Council.