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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IAEA Takes Resolution on Iran

VIENNA, Austria -- The UN atomic watchdog agency's board adopted a resolution Wednesday censuring Iran for past nuclear coverups.

The resolution, adopted by the 35-nation board of governors of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, did not confront Iran with a direct threat of sanctions -- resolving a sticking point between the United States and key European powers over how to deal with Tehran.

Adopted by consensus, the resolution warns against "further serious Iranian failures," saying that could lead the board to consider actions allowed by its statute -- shorthand for UN Security Council action. While welcoming Iran's "offer of active cooperation and openness" -- including suspending uranium enrichment and agreeing to thorough inspections on IAEA demand -- the measure calls for a "particularly robust verification system" to test Tehran's honesty.

The United States had wanted a specific mention of Security Council action -- with an implicit threat of sanctions -- should Tehran fail to come clean on past nuclear secrets and renege on pledges to open present activities to full IAEA inspection.

But three West European nations opposed such a threat, fearing Iran could backtrack on its cooperation if it was too strongly pressured. The deadlock forced the board meeting into an unprecedented three-day adjournment on Friday -- and on Monday the U.S. administration settled for an indirect reference to the Security Council.