NEW YORK - The United Nations Security Council will not vote on imposing tougher sanctions on Iran before November at the earliest, when the UN nuclear watchdog is expected to submit its report on the Islamic republic's nuclear weapons program.
The United States and France had sought swifter action to step up economic and political pressure on the Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which the West suspects is aimed at developing nuclear arms.
But Russia and China pressed for restarting negotiations with Tehran based on the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain asked European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana to hold more talks with Iran's national security chief, Ali Larijani, while the IAEA tries to clear up doubts about past nuclear activities.
"We agree to finalize a text for a third UN Security Council sanctions resolution ... with the intention of bringing it to a vote ... unless the November reports of Dr. Solana and [IAEA chief] Dr. [Mohamed] ElBaradei show a positive outcome of their efforts," they said in a joint statement.
Diplomats involved in the negotiations on the statement, said the U.S. and Russia have been at odds over the declaration. The diplomats reported that as the deadline for the statement neared, discussions between the two countries became increasingly discordant.
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