Russia backs IAEA 'time-out' on Iran nuke dispute

Russia on Thursday signaled that it backs a "time-out" proposed by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency that calls for holding off on imposing UN sanctions if Tehran suspends uranium enrichment. "We believe the initiative put forward by the IAEA head ... suggesting that Iran suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for the UN Security Council's reciprocal step regarding resolution 1737 deserves close attention," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, proposed the plan during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in an effort to end the standoff between the West and Iran over the Islamic republic's suspect nuclear program. Iran said on Sunday that it needed time to review the plan.