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Resolution asks Iran to clarify nuclear issues

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:23 PM EST, Sun November 20, 2011
Iran's permanent envoy to the IAEA said that the allegations are fabricated and Iran will not succumb to international pressures.
Iran's permanent envoy to the IAEA said that the allegations are fabricated and Iran will not succumb to international pressures.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Clinton says "the world has sent a clear and unified message to Tehran"
  • An overwhelming majority in IAEA's governing council back the resolution
  • The resolution wants Iran and the IAEA "to intensify their dialogue"
  • IAEA wants "possible military dimensions" clarified

(CNN) -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog's governing council adopted a resolution Friday expressing "deep and increasing concern about the unresolved issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program."

Among the issues are "those which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions" in the nuclear program, it says.

The resolution was approved by an overwhelming majority of the International Atomic Energy agency's governing council, including assents from what is called the E3+3 -- Germany, the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and China -- German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Friday in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The move underscores "the big worry of the international community about a possible military dimension of the Iranian atomic program. It shows the unity and determination of the E3+3 to bring Iran to keeping up its obligations within the community of nations," Westerwelle said.

"If Iran further denies having serious negotiations regarding its atomic program, new sanctions will be unavoidable," he said.

World powers have been concerned that Iran is harboring a nuclear weapons program. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes. But a November 8 report by the IAEA found "credible" information that Tehran has carried out work toward nuclear weapons, including tests of bomb components.

Iran's permanent envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said after the vote that allegations against his nation are fabricated and Iran will not succumb to international pressures.

"We will never ever suspend our enrichment," he said.

The IAEA governing council resolution calls on Iran and the agency to "intensify their dialogue" for urgently resolving "all outstanding substantive issues for the purpose of providing clarifications regarding those issues."

"Expressing continuing support for a diplomatic solution, the resolution calls on Iran to engage seriously and without preconditions in talks aimed at restoring international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program," the IAEA said in a press release.

The resolution, adopted in Vienna, Austria, was hailed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"The world has sent a clear and unified message to Tehran that it is deeply troubled by the evidence revealed in last week's report," she said. "This report supplied the clearest confirmation of what the United States has long believed -- that, despite its constant denials, Iran's government has pursued technologies and equipment that could only be applied to a nuclear weapons program."

She said that even though Iran claims it seeks nuclear power for peaceful purposes, the report of Director General Yukiya Amano and the board's actions illustrate world powers' belief that Iran's claims aren't credible.

"In the coming weeks, we will work with our international partners to increase the pressure on Iran's government until it decides to meet its international obligations," Clinton said.

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