By Eric on 2006-03-21

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Russia, backed by China, blocked agreement on Monday on a U.N. Security Council statement aimed at quashing Iran’s nuclear ambitions despite a ministerial meeting on Tehran’s atomic programs, diplomats said.

Senior foreign affairs officials from Germany and the five veto-holding Security Council members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — met for more than four hours to exchange information on how to handle Iran.

Their U.N. ambassadors joined them for discussions on a draft statement the Security Council has been unable to issue for nearly two weeks telling Iran to stop uranium-enrichment efforts the West believes are a cover for bomb making.