Archive for Sunday, September 25, 2005

Resolution could refer Iran to Security Council

September 25, 2005

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— The U.N. atomic watchdog agency Saturday put Iran just one step away from referral to the Security Council unless Tehran eases suspicions about its nuclear activities in coming months - a move the United States has been pushing for years.

The chief U.S. delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency hailed the decision in Vienna, describing it as a wake-up call for Tehran "to come clean" or face the consequences.

But his Iranian counterpart blasted the approval of the resolution and warned of retaliation. Tehran maintains its nuclear program is for generating electricity.

Saturday's decision was far from unanimous, though. Only 22 of the 35 board nations voted for the U.S.-backed European Union motion.

Twelve nations abstained, including Russia and China, which are veto-wielding members of the Security Council, diplomats said. The others were developing nations.

Venezuela cast the only vote against.

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