UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Russia and China have quietly made clear to the Iranian government they want Tehran to change its approach to the nuclear issue and accept a U.N. atomic fuel offer, Western diplomats say.
Russia’s and China’s coordinated diplomatic approaches took place in Tehran around the beginning of March, according to several Western U.N. Security Council diplomats.
They said it was significant that two powers seen as blocking Western efforts to get tough on Tehran appeared to be using their influence behind the scenes to ratchet up the pressure on the Islamic Republic.
“Russia and China had a demarche in Tehran to try and get them to shift their position on the nuclear issue, particularly with regard to the Tehran Research Reactor,” one diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
“The Russians and Chinese were saying that their position (on a new sanctions resolution) would depend on Iran’s response to the demarches.”
Another Western diplomat confirmed the Russian and Chinese “demarche,” a formal diplomatic approach that can be anything from a gentle expression of displeasure to an angry protest.