The International Atomic Energy Agency gave Iran until Oct. 31 to prove that its nuclear-energy program was not just a cover for nuclear-weapons development. Outraged, Iranian diplomats walked out of an IAEA meeting at the group’s Vienna headquarters and said their country might have to “reconsider” its cooperation with the nuclear watchdog. The U.S. pushed for the October deadline because it did not want Iran to go the way of North Korea, which used its IAEA membership to get access to sensitive technology and then quit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and declared an active weapons program. “One cannot let that precedent be repeated,” U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said. If the agency rules that Tehran is in violation of the treaty, it will send the matter to the U.N. Security Council, which could order mandatory inspections or impose sanctions.
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