U.S. and Russian negotiators remained at odds today, Wednesday, in a growing diplomatic stand-off over Iran's suspect nuclear program.
U.S. and European envoys at the International Atomic Energy Agency want Iran referred to the United Nations Security Council for allegedly violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But a Russian Foreign Ministry statement says such a move is counterproductive and will not help solve the stand-off through political and diplomatic means.
U.S. Ambassador Gregory Schulte told IAEA diplomats meeting in Vienna that the time has come to act against Iran for its alleged secret efforts to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies the charges.
The Security Council can impose sanctions if it finds Tehran has not complied with the nuclear treaty.
Western efforts to rally support for referral from the 35-member IAEA board are also opposed by China and a host of non-aligned member-nations that want European-Iranian negotiations to continue.