Russia to veto UNSC resolution against Syrian nuke program

VIENNA - Russia said on Thursday it wouldvote against a Western-led push at the UN nuclear watchdog toreport 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 draftresolution at the 35-nation board of the International AtomicEnergy Agency rebuking the Arab state for three years ofstonewalling of a probe into a site bombed by Israel in 2007.

But Western diplomats said they believed they still hadenough support for the IAEA board to adopt the text, which wouldrequire a simple majority.

US intelligence reports have said Dair Alzour was anascent, North Korean-designed reactor intended to produceplutonium for atomic bombs before it was bombed to rubble. Syriadenies the charge.

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

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