The US Senate on Saturday passed by a 90-1 vote a non-binding resolution
insisting that the United States prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear
weapons and ruling out any strategy aimed at dealing with a
The only senator to vote against the
resolution was Republican Rand Paul, a Tea Party and libertarian
favorite, who argued that it was a de-facto declaration of war.
had sponsored another measure that would suspend foreign aid to the
governments of Pakistan, Egypt and Libya in response to recent attacks
on US interests in these countries, but this was soundly defeated by a
vote of 81-10.
Earlier Saturday, Western states defeated an
at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) annual
assembly to amend their draft resolution on a policy area central to
its work in preventing the spread of atom bombs.
The draft text
was adopted in a vote shortly after midnight after days of closed-door
negotiations failed to achieve the traditional consensus, with divisions
between a small number of countries led by Iran and a much larger
Diplomats said Iran and Egypt had wanted
to include language in the resolution suggesting the agency should have
a role also in nuclear disarmament, apparently reflecting frustration
on their part at the lack of faster progress on this issue.
was opposed by a large majority including the United States, Britain,
France and Russia - four officially recognized nuclear weapon states -
which believe the IAEA is not the right forum for this, they said.
The West accuses Iran of trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability in secret. The Islamic Republic denies the charge.
often hits out at the United States over its atomic arsenal, and also
criticizes Iran's arch foe, Israel, and that country's assumed nuclear
annual General Conference of the 155 IAEA member states traditionally
adopts several resolutions, setting out general and often vaguely worded
policy aspirations and guidelines, during a week-long meeting in
As in 2011, the most contentious issue was a text
regarding the IAEA's activities in seeking to make sure nuclear material
is not diverted for non-peaceful purposes, a crucial task for the UN
agency under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).