Security Council powers seek to build common strategy on Iran

The United States and its European allies pressed Russia and China to support referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council at a meeting Monday aimed at forging a common response to the Islamic nation's decision to restart its &to=' target=_blank>nuclear program.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said dialogue with Moscow and Beijing was crucial. Both are wary of sending the dispute to the council for possible sanctions.

Britain, France, Germany and the United States have been pushing for a referral since the Europeans declared last week that talks with Tehran had reached a dead end. Officials said the four nations were trying to win the backing of Russia and China, which have close business ties with Iran and in the past have resisted putting the nuclear issue before the council.

Western nations were alarmed by Iran's decision last week to resume research on nuclear fuel and break the U.N. seals at its main uranium enrichment plant. They hoped to overcome differences with China and Russia and plan a common strategy on the issue at the seven-hour London meeting of diplomats from America, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, which ended late in the afternoon.

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