UN watchdog censures Iran

VIENNA, Austria — The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board censured Iran on Friday, with 25 nations backing a resolution demanding that Tehran immediately freeze construction of its newly revealed nuclear facility and heed Security Council resolutions to stop uranium enrichment.

Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency

Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency

VIENNA, Austria — The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board censured Iran on Friday, with 25 nations backing a resolution demanding that Tehran immediately freeze construction of its newly revealed nuclear facility and heed Security Council resolutions to stop uranium enrichment.

Iran remained defiant, with its chief representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency declaring that his country would resist “pressure, resolutions, sanction(s) and threat of military attack.”

Delegate Ali Asghar Soltanieh of Iran shrugged off the vote.

“Neither resolutions of the board of governors nor those of the United Nations Security Council . . . neither sanctions nor the threat of military attacks can interrupt peaceful nuclear activities in Iran, even a second,” he told the closed-door meeting, in remarks made available to reporters.

Iran argues that its nuclear program is aimed at creating a peaceful nuclear energy network.

The United States and other nations believe Iran’s nuclear program has the goal of creating nuclear weapons.

The IAEA resolution criticized Iran for defying a U.N. Security Council ban on uranium enrichment — the source of nuclear fuel and the fissile core of warheads.

It also censured Iran for secretly building a uranium enrichment facility and demanded that it immediately suspend further construction.

It noted that IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei cannot confirm that Tehran’s nuclear program is exclusively geared toward peaceful uses, and expressed “serious concern” that Iran’s stonewalling of an IAEA probe means “the possibility of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program” cannot be excluded.

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