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UN Security Council to Try to Break Impasse on Iran

The U.N. Security Council is due to meet Friday to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Diplomats say the 15 Council members will try to settle differences over a draft statement before Monday when senior officials from the Council's five veto-wielding nations - the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China - will meet along with Germany in New York.

Britain, France and the United States want the Security Council to call on Iran to abandon uranium enrichment and comply with other demands by the International Atomic Energy Agency to clear up suspicions about Tehran's nuclear program.

Russia and China say tough Council action could spark an Iranian withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and expulsion of IAEA inspectors from Iran.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said Thursday that Council members agree on the importance of sending a "strong and clear signal" to Iran about its suspected nuclear program.

The United States alleges Iran is seeking highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon - a charge Tehran denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.