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IAEA resolution clears way to refer Iran to Security Council
India, Peru, Singapore and Ecuador also backed the resolution, reflecting some support in the developing nations' camp, they said, and Venezuela cast the only vote against.
The resolution called on the board to consider reporting Iran at a future meeting. As grounds, it mentioned noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and suspicions that Iran's nuclear activities could threaten international peace and security.
Diplomats from countries backing the resolution said it set Iran up for referral as early as November, when the board next meets in regular session, unless it dispels international concerns.
_ Give IAEA experts "access to individuals, documentation relating to (nuclear) procurement, dual use equipment, certain military owned workshops and research and development locations"
_ Return to "full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related activity ... and reprocessing activity" in an allusion to Iran's resumption last month of uranium conversion _ a precursor of uranium enrichment, which can make material for either nuclear fuel or the fissile core of warheads
_ Go beyond honoring an additional agreement with the IAEA giving its inspectors the right to look more closely at Iran's nuclear activities by formally ratifying it.
Approval reflected board concern over Iran's "long history of concealment and deception," despite the divisions among board members, said the chief U.S. representative to the meeting, Gregory Schulte.
In opting for referral, the board is "concerned that Iran's activities pose an increasing threat to international peace and security," Schulte told reporters. "The IAEA has called on Iran to ... come clean."
But Iran's delegation head, Javad Vaeidi, said strong opposition by a large minority of board members reflected that "there is no consensus on the way forward." He warned of retaliation, declaring: "Threat invokes threat."
Tehran had already warned Friday that, if the resolution was approved, it could respond by starting uranium enrichment _ a possible path to nuclear arms _ and by reducing IAEA powers to inspect its activities under the additional agreement it had signed but not yet ratified.
Diplomats accredited to the agency who wanted to remain anonymous because their information was confidential said that both threats were contained in unsigned letters and shown by a member of the Iranian delegation to ElBaradei.
The Security Council could impose sanctions if it determines that Iran violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but the draft made no mention of sanctions, in recognition of Russian and Chinese opposition.
But it was unequivocal in saying that _ unless Iran meets the demands it outlined _ grounds exist for it to be referred to the Security Council.
A nation's failure to comply with the nonproliferation treaty is automatic grounds for a report to the Security Council under IAEA statutes, and the draft said "Iran's many failures and breaches of its obligations ... constitute noncompliance."