Russia has said it won’t report Iran to the United Nations Security Council arguing that Tehran hasn’t violated the rules of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
The decision undermines efforts by Washington and the European Union who have launched a diplomatic campaign against Iran after it resumed uranium processing last month.
Both accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the charges.
Russia, which has long been criticised by Washington for building a nuclear plant in Iran, is a permanent member of the Security Council and could use its veto to block any sanctions against Iran. The UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been investigating Iran’s nuclear programme for the past two years without reaching a conclusion. It is due to meet later this month to discuss the issue. The EU has made clear it will refer Tehran to the Security Council if the watchdog confirms it has resumed suspect nuclear activities.