June 9, 2011 / 11:24 AM / in 6 years

Russia against Western push on Syria nuclear issue

VIENNA, June 9 (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday it would vote against a Western-led push at the U.N. nuclear watchdog to report Syria to the Security Council for covert atomic work, diplomats attending a closed-door meeting said.

They said China was also expected to vote against a draft resolution at the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency rebuking the Arab state for its three years’ of stonewalling of a probe into a site bombed by Israel in 2007.

But Western diplomats said they believed they still had enough support for the IAEA board to adopt the text, which would require a simple majority.

U.S. intelligence reports have said Dair Alzour was a nascent, North Korean-designed reactor intended to produce plutonium for atomic bombs before it was bombed to rubble. Syria denies the charge.

The IAEA, the Vienna-based U.N. atomic agency, gave independent backing to the U.S. allegation in a report last month which said it was “very likely” to have been a reactor.

Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Sylvia Westall; editing by Ralph Boulton

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