'Defiant' Iran announces plans to build ten new uranium enrichment plants

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Tehran, Nov 30(ANI): Two days after world powers ordered Iran to halt the construction of a uranium enrichment plant near Qom, Iran has announced that it has plans to build ten new plants to escalate its nuclear programmes.

The announcement was made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said that his Cabinet had ordered the building of ten new plants aimed at producing up to 300 tonnes of nuclear fuel a year, with construction to begin on five within two months, The Times reported.

He also said that the Cabinet had also been studying plans to start enriching uranium to a higher level - high enough to be used in medical research, but below that required for weapons.

Meanwhile, a senior US official said that the plan constituted the boldest public violation of Iran's international obligations to date, and underlined its unwillingness to reach a peaceful compromise.

The proposed programme envisages Iran producing nuclear fuel on a massive scale, despite not yet possessing a single civilian nuclear reactor to generate electricity.

Earlier, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had asked Iran to adhere immediately to five United Nations resolutions demanding it to stop uranium enrichment.

The IAEA resolution to prevent Iran from developing a uranium-enrichment facility in secret was unanimously passed by a 25-3 vote with six abstentions.

The resolution urges Iran to halt construction of the Fordow uranium-enrichment plant, located in a mountain bunker near the city of Qom immediately.

Besides, the resolution asks Tehran to clarify the original purpose of the Fordow facility and to confirm that Iran does not have any more hidden atomic facilities or clandestine plants for any purpose.

Significantly, the latest IAEA resolution has also been supported by Russia and China, which have shied away from censuring Iran in the past.

The West is concerned that Iran is secretly trying to build nuclear weapons in violation of its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (ANI)

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