VIENNA, Austria (AP) – Russia is unexpectedly opposing key parts of a U.S.-backed Security Council draft resolution on Iran’s nuclear program, threatening international unity on how to handle Tehran’s defiance, U.N. diplomats said Saturday.
Particularly vexing to the United States and its allies is Moscow’s refusal to endorse language demanding that Tehran freeze uranium enrichment or face potential sanctions. That refusal appears to contradict previous signals suggesting Russia was ready to support a tougher line against Iran.
As recently as July 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered a veiled warning to Tehran on enrichment and its refusal to respond to an international offer to negotiate its nuclear program, saying the Security Council “will consider steps appropriate to the situation” if the Islamic republic does not comply.
A draft resolution drawn up by Britain and France and circulated last week among most members of the 15-nation council demands that Tehran “suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities … and suspend the construction” of its heavy water reactor, which can produce plutonium.
One of the diplomats said that demand reflected the agreement among Russia and the five other nations at the July 12 meeting in the French capital but Moscow now was “trying to distance itself from the Paris declaration.”
“They now want to water down the text,” the diplomat said.
And the text itself is already a dhimmi bribe, an Aethelred the Unready tribute payment.