IAEA censure of Iran nuclear program comes as UN nuclear watchdog chief ElBaradei says agency at 'dead end' with Iran.
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The board of the UN's nuclear watchdog voted to censure Iran's nuclear program and demand that it shut down its recently discovered uranium-enrichment facility at Qom. The resolution comes just a day after Mohamed ElBaradei, the International Atomic Energy Agency's outgoing chief, said that the agency's dealings with Iran were at a "dead end."
With rare Russian and Chinese backing, the vote sent a message of increasing international resolve to challenge Iran over its disputed nuclear ambitions.
But it was unclear whether the measure, sponsored by six world powers, would translate to crucial Russian-Chinese support for painful sanctions that Western leaders will push for early next year if Iran does not embark on steps to defuse mistrust.
The measure won blanket Western backing. Cuba, Malaysia and Venezuela, prominent in a developing nation bloc that includes Iran, voted "no," while Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey abstained. Azerbaijan missed the ballot.