The U.N. nuclear watchdog passed a resolution on Saturday requiring that Iran be reported to the Security Council for failing to convince the international community that its nuclear program was entirely peaceful.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) governing board approved the resolution despite threats by Iran to begin enriching uranium and curtail IAEA inspections.
The resolution was drafted by Britain, France and Germany and backed by the United States, but it was watered down by the EU trio who had wanted Iran to be referred to the Council now.
With 22 votes for, one against and 12 abstentions, the outcome also highlighted the split between Western nations and others such as Russia, China and South Africa, which disagree with the EU three and Washington on how to deal with Iran.
Iran denies it is seeking atomic bombs and says its nuclear program is only for generating electricity. But it concealed its atomic fuel program from the IAEA for 18 years.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said the vote was a valid decision supported by a majority but added that the international divide was worrying, ABC News reports.