Russia optimistic UNSC will reach deal on Iran

A Russian diplomat said late Thursday that Moscow remains optimistic the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council will break a deadlock on confronting Iran's nuclear program, as the nations' foreign ministers took up the issue in new efforts to reach a deal. The comments by Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Konstantin Dolgov, were important because Russia and China have been key holdouts against a council statement proposed by Britain, France and the United States demanding Iran suspend uranium enrichment. Moscow and Beijing are insisting that the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency, play the lead role in clearing up suspicions that Iran may be seeking a nuclear weapon, as the US believes. Iran insists it is not.