The Group 5+1 (the five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany) have been pursuing a “dual track” policy in reaching a negotiated settlement with Iran, but imposing further sanctions if the efforts failed.
China also snubbed the gathering by dispatching a low ranking representative to a meeting attended by senior diplomats. Russia favored sanctions apparently after its efforts to end the standoff by swapping and reprocessing Iranian uranium was rebuffed by Iran.
UPDATE: Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast mocked major powers’ failure to impose new sanctions on Iran as “natural.”
"The failure of the 5+1 meeting is natural," Mehmanparast said. "Some nations like China do not believe that the negative approaches, sanctions, threats and politically driven methods can bear any fruit."