In a 25-3 vote, the P5+1 (the permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) succeeded in getting their draft resolution condemning Iran’s civilian nuclear program passed through the IAEA. Every major nation supported the resolution, with Venezuela, Malaysia and Cuba voting against it.
The resolution is a blanket condemnation of the Iranian nuclear program and demands the immediate halt of construction at the Qom enrichment facility. The vote is seen as a first step toward more sanctions against Iran.
The legal basis for the demands are unclear, at best. Iran revealed the Qom facility in September, seemingly in keeping with its requirement to report such sites at least six months before completion. IAEA inspectors visited the site in October and officials say it is nothing to be worried about.
Iran has been enriching uranium for civilian use at its Natanz facility for quite some time, and the smaller, underground site at Qom is according to officials an attempt to safeguard some enrichment capability in the event of international attacks against Natanz, something long threatened by the US and Israel.
The IAEA has repeatedly certified that none of Iran’s uranium is being enriched above the low levels needed for energy production and none of it is being diverted to non-civilian purposes. In spite of this, Western nations have vowed to continue to press for more sanctions against Iran if it does not abandon its program.
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