The U.N. Security Council already has imposed several sets of mild sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear efforts. In recent days, the U.S. has sought support for tougher measures against Iran - measures that have been blocked by Russia and China in the past.
Friday’s IAEA censure was unusual because it won support from both China and Russia, which have close commercial links with Iran.
Iran has one uranium enrichment facility operating at Nantaz, considered capable of making enough fuel for about one nuclear bomb each year.
The recent disclosure of the second site, inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom, has reinforced fears that Iran continues to hide much of its nuclear program from outside inspectors.
Prior to Friday’s censure by the IAEA, Iran had rejected an IAEA-brokered deal that would have exported Iran’s existing supply of low-enriched uranium to Russia or another country, where it would be converted into fuel rods for a medical reactor and returned to Iran.