Major Powers Put Pressure on Iran

Six countries get tough on Iran.

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In contrast, Western states seized on the document to try to step up pressure on Tehran in the form of farther-reaching economic sanctions, which Russia and China oppose.

"It does the job," one senior Western diplomat said about the resolution. "It is always a compromise, but we want it to have the backing of as many of the board members as possible. That is the aim."

In November 2009, IAEA governors including Russia and China rebuked Iran for building a uranium enrichment plant in secret. Iran rejected that vote as "intimidation."

There has been concern that if the powers cannot settle their differences over how to nudge Iran into serious nuclear negotiations, then Israel, which feels endangered by Iranian nuclear aspirations, will attack it.

Israel is widely believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal to deter numerically superior enemies, but has never confirmed or denied it.

Russia has significant trade ties with Iran and also built its first nuclear power plant, launched at Bushehr earlier this year. China is a major importer of Iranian oil.

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