The Iranian government approved a plan Sunday to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities, a dramatic expansion in defiance of U.N. demands it halt the program.
The decision comes only two days after the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency censured Iran, demanding it immediately stop building a newly revealed enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom and freeze all uranium enrichment activities. The rebuke angered Iran, raising demands from lawmakers Sunday to cut back cooperation with the U.N.
The enrichment announcement is likely to stoke already high tensions between Iran and the West over its controversial nuclear activities. The U.S. and its allies have hinted of new U.N. sanctions if Tehran remains defiant.
A Cabinet meeting headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to begin building five uranium enrichment sites that have already been studied and propose five other locations for future construction within two months, the state news agency IRNA reported. (continues here at USA Today)