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Iran set to construct ten new enrichment plants

Days after a new resolution by the UN nuclear watchdog called on Iran to halt the construction of its Fordo enrichment plant, the Iranian government tasks the Atomic Energy Organization (AEO) with building ten more nuclear enrichment sites.

According to the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the AEO should begin the construction of five of the requested enrichment facilities over the next two months.

Upon the Iranian government’s request, the organization should also propose locations for the remaining five enrichment plants within a two-month period.

According to the report published on the Iranian president’s website, the request for the construction of the new sites comes as the Iranian government is expected to provide the country’s power plants with 20,000 megawatts of electricity for domestic use.

The decision, which was made during a Sunday cabinet meeting, comes as President Ahmadinejad argued that the country is in need of 500,000 centrifuges for generating the cited amount of electricity.

The requested nuclear sites are expected to be as large as Iran’s enrichment facility in the central city of Natanz.

The announcement by Iran comes as earlier in the week six world powers drafted a resolution at the UN nuclear watchdog against Iran’s nuclear work.

The draft, backed by the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China, was presented at the year-end meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) 35-nation Board of Governors.

The IAEA passed the resolution which called on Iran to stop all construction work at Fordo and confirm there are no more nuclear sites that the agency must be aware of.

Iran says the demand to stop construction at Fordo is not within the framework of its legal obligations.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities have rejected the notion that the newly-adopted resolution is much stronger than the previous ones, arguing that the past resolutions called for a complete halt to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program while the latest resolution seeks to pressure Iran into abandoning construction at the Fordo plant.

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