TEHRAN, Iran – Iran said Monday it has decided where to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites inside protected mountain strongholds and will start construction on the first in March, defying international efforts to curb its nuclear program.
Enriching uranium creates fuel for nuclear power plants but can also, if taken to higher levels, produce the material for weapons and Iran’s growing capacity in this process is at the center of its dispute with the international community.
The U.N. Security Council has already passed four sets of sanctions against Iran to try and force it to stop enriching uranium.
Last year, Iran flouted international concerns by claiming it would build 10 new enrichment plants and Monday’s announcement revealed that the sites had been chosen and would be inside mountains, without revealing any other details.
“Construction of a new uranium enrichment site will begin by the end of the (Iranian) year (March) or early next year,” Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said. “The new enrichment facilities will be built inside mountains.”