Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Russia and China have agreed to endorse a resolution by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), that demands Iran cease its program of developing nuclear weapons.
The resolution has now been approved by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as her counterparts in Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -- i.e., the six nations that have been engaged in haphazard negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.
“[A nuclear Iran] is not acceptable for Israel, not acceptable for the region, and it is not acceptable for the stability of the world’s security architecture," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Berlin.
The U.S. and its allies have long sought to pressure Russia and China into backing such a statement against Iran, amid fears that Israel would unilaterally attack Iran with a pre-emptive strike in lieu of finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have repeatedly threatened to launch a military strike against Iran, even without the United States’ support. Israel views a nuclear-armed Iran as a grave threat to its very existence.
Diplomats hope that the weight of Russia and China would dissuade Iran from pursuing the development of atomic bombs.
However, the Associated Press reported that the resolution cannot be enforced by the IAEA’s 35-nation board, even if it is passed by a vote.
Iran continues to insist that its nuclear program is designed solely for peaceful, civilian purposes and reserves the right to pursue the project.
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