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Russia and China back resolution against Iran

The world community encircled Iran diplomatically on Wednesday, with Russia and China backing a draft resolution against its nuclear program. The joint move aims to defuse Israel's confrontational stance toward Iran.

Russia and China on Wednesday joined an international resolution criticizing Iran's defiant stance on its nuclear program, sending a strong signal to Israel that diplomacy is a plausible alternative to force in pressuring Tehran.

The proposed resolution is to be put up for passage by vote or consensus on Thursday at a scheduled International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna.

The text calls on Iran to cease activities that could lead to the creation of a nuclear bomb. It cites Iran's refusal to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. It also refers to Iran's failure to allow IAEA inspectors access to its Parchin military base and suspicions that Iran has deliberately concealed evidence on alleged research into nuclear weapons.

Veto-powers react to Israeli push

The result came on the back of days of negotiations between the US, Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France on the issue. It also follows weeks of speculation that Israel, which sees itself as particularly vulnerable to a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, had plans to bomb Iran's atomic facilities.

Israel has increased pressure on the United States in recent weeks to turn up the heat on Tehran, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling on US President Barack Obama to identify “red lines” for when the US would act.

Iran denies allegations that it is developing nuclear arms and says that its nuclear program is peaceful.

sej/ipj (AFP, AP, Reuters)