The U.N. Security Council, in an unprecedented criticism of a nation's internal affairs, overwhelmingly condemned Iraq's repression of the Kurds on Friday and demanded an end to atrocities.

The council chose to vote despite a last-minute blocking effort by Iraq's U.N. ambassador, who said his country would accept a U.N. fact-finding mission to investigate the conditions of Kurdish refugees.The resolution, sponsored by Belgium, France, the United States and Britain, "condemns the represssion of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas, the consequences of which threaten international peace and security in the region."

It demands that Iraq "immediately end this repression," and expresses hope "that an open dialogue will take place to ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected."

The resolution insists that Iraq allow immediate access by international humanitarian agencies to all needy people throughout Iraq.