Diplomats say that Russia is pressing the U.N. atomic agency to report on the nuclear risk of air strikes on Syria in efforts to stave off possible U.S. attack.

Two diplomats said Russian envoy Grigory Berdennikov urged action on an earlier request in comments Monday to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board.

A confidential letter from the Russian foreign ministry to IAEA chief Yukiya Amano obtained by The Associated Press Monday warns of the “catastrophic” consequences of a strike on a research reactor near Damascus.

The diplomats, who were inside the closed meeting, demanded anonymity because they were not authorised to report on the discussion.

The IAEA has said it is assessing Russia’s request.

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