United Nations nuclear watchdog governors voted on Friday to rebuke Iran for building a uranium enrichment plant in secret.
Tehran dismissed the resolution — which sought a freeze on the project, hidden inside a mountain bunker — as “intimidation”. Its ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said: “We won’t implement any word of it.”
The 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed the resolution with a 25-3 margin, with six abstentions, smoothed by rare backing from Russia and China that have in the past blocked attempts to isolate Iran.
The vote reflected exasperation with Iran’s retreat from an IAEA-brokered draft deal to provide it with fuel for a medical N-reactor if it agreed to part with its enriched uranium.
The resolution had India’s backing as it is consistent with its policy that signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty have certain “rights and obligations”, said an Indian government source in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, where the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is underway.
India is, however, opposed to sanctions against Iran. “This resolution can’t be the basis of a renewed punitive approach or new sanctions,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The US called the resolution “significant”.
British prime minister Gordon Brown said harsher sanctions may have to be pursued if Iran ignored the vote.