Israel sends team to Russia to push Iran to UNSC

Israel planned to dispatch a top team to Russia on Tuesday to urge Moscow to act against suspected Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear weapon, government spokesman Asaf Shariv said. Moscow and Beijing joined the US and its European allies in demanding Monday that Iran fully suspend its nuclear program, while Vladimir Putin held out hope for a compromise, saying Tehran might agree to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that she wants a vote as soon as possible on whether to refer Iran to the council and is working to line up support. The Russian president suggested there might still be hope of avoiding that path, saying Iran has not ruled out conducting its uranium enrichment in Russia, which would allow for close oversight. Iran has close ties with Russia, which is building a nuclear power station there. Iran says its nuclear program is intended only to produce energy, but Israel, the US and others accuse Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.