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Iran Referred To The Security Council

The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A, has voted by a large majority to refer the case of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the I-A-E-A vote "underscores the concern of the entire international community" about Iran’s nuclear program. "We hope the Iranian regime will heed this clear message," she said. "The world will not stand by if Iran continues on the path to a nuclear weapons capability. Today’s resolution makes clear the steps Iran’s regime must take. It must suspend enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, cooperate fully with the I-A-E-A, and return to the negotiating process based on the previously agreed terms."

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says that the overwhelming I-A-E-A vote in favor of referring Iran's nuclear program to the U-N Security Council gives the Iranian government an opportunity to reassess its position:

"The international community spoke in a clear voice. You have twenty-seven countries that voted for the referral or report to the Security Council and you had, I think, three countries that stood with Iran, including Venezuela and Cuba. . . .Right now where it finds itself is isolated from the rest of the world. It is up to the Iranian regime to decide whether or not it wants to continue that isolation and even take that isolation further."

President George W. Bush said in a written statement that the I-A-E-A's action "is not about denying the Iranian people the benefits of civilian nuclear power." "The international community's sole purpose in this vote is to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the regime,"

President Bush said. "Iran's true interests lie in working with the international community to enjoy the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy, not in isolating Iran by continuing to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.