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Iran faces possible U.N. sanctions over nuclear program

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The UN Security Council is weighing a vote later this week to impose fresh sanctions on Iran over its uranium enrichment program. The UN's watchdog agency has warned that the program, which Iran calls peaceful, may still include a military component. This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency heard evidence that Iran had secretly developed nuclear arms after 2003.

The IAEA assessment, issued last Friday, provoked controversy because United States intelligence agencies concluded last year that Iran had stopped a nuclear weapons program in 2003. Iran denounced documents submitted to the IAEA as "forgeries."

The US has been pushing for tougher UN sanctions on Iran and the Bush administration has long argued that Iran is trying to build atomic weapons. Still, opposition from other permanent members of the UN Security Council is expected, and the outcome is likely to be a mild range of measures that rebuke Iran.

In its Friday report, the IAEA said that Iran had continued to enrich uranium in defiance of the Security Council resolutions, the Associated Press reports. The report also said that previous issues that raised suspicion had been largely resolved, but questions remained over possible military applications that Iran, so far, has been unable to answer satisfactorily.


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