Russia to veto UNSC resolution against Syrian nuke program

June 9, 2011 15:14

VIENNA - Russia said on Thursday it would vote against a Western-led push at the UN nuclear watchdog to report Syria to the Security Council for covert atomic work, diplomats attending a closed-door meeting said.

They said China was also expected to vote against a draft resolution at the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency rebuking the Arab state for three years of stonewalling of a probe into a site bombed by Israel in 2007.

But Western diplomats said they believed they still had enough support for the IAEA board to adopt the text, which would require a simple majority.

US intelligence reports have said Dair Alzour was a nascent, North Korean-designed reactor intended to produce plutonium for atomic bombs before it was bombed to rubble. Syria denies the charge.

The IAEA, the Vienna-based UN atomic agency, gave independent backing to the US allegation in a report last month which said it was "very likely" to have been a reactor.

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