UNSC braces for sanctions showdown with Iran

* Russia warns US not to use nuclear issue to change Iran

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council (UNSC) braces this week for a dramatic showdown with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over a vote on new sanctions to prod Tehran to comply with demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.

South African Ambassador Dumasani Kumalo, who chairs the 15-member Council this month, said there had been no objection from members to a request by Ahmadinejad to attend the session at which a new draft sanctions resolution is to be adopted.

The full council was set to meet on Wednesday afternoon to review the compromise text agreed on Thursday.

A vote on the draft, which toughened sanctions already adopted by the council in December, was likely to follow a few days later, diplomats said.

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