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Iran Threatens Trade Retaliations After Nuclear Vote

The International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution Saturday requiring Iran to be reported to the Security Council for possible sanctions. The resolution put off the actual referral until the board votes again, no earlier than November.

“We will reconsider our economic cooperation with those countries that voted against us,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi.

The economic implications could be most felt by India and Japan, which have vast energy needs and receive a large portion of the oil from the Persian Gulf nation. Iran is the world’s second largest holder of oil and natural gas, according to Reuters.

India and Japan were among the 22 out of 35 delegations that voted against Iran.

India in June signed a $22 billion deal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Iran for 25 years from 2009, when Iran’s exports of LNG are due to hit world markets, Reuters reported.

India also has been looking to transport gas through an above-ground pipeline from Iran in a massive $7 billion project.

Iran is already Japan’s No. 3 oil supplier, but Japan is looking to increase imports from Iran by developing a $2 billion oilfield in the southwestern part of the Islamic Republic.

Analysts had predicted Iran may use the oil card against countries seeking to send Tehran to the Security Council, but such a move could backfire on the republic since oil accounts for 80 percent of its export earnings, according to Reuters.

The United States has long accused Iran of secretly working to develop nuclear warheads, but Iran has insisted its nuclear programs are for civilian purposes only.

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