Defiant Iran Beefs Up Nuclear Plans

Iran announced a massive expansion of its nuclear program on Sunday
and threatened to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,
moves that would dramatically escalate the country’s standoff with the
international community if Tehran follows through.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled plans to build 10 more facilities to enrich uranium.President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled in a cabinet meeting Sunday plans to build
10 more nuclear facilities for enriching uranium, according to Iran’s
official news agency, IRNA. He said they would produce nuclear fuel to
provide 20,000 megawatts of energy by 2020, though Western officials
suspect that Iran wants to build an atomic bomb.

A majority of Iranian lawmakers also asked the government to draw up a
plan to end cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency,
the United Nations nuclear watchdog. Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s
parliament and a former nuclear negotiator, warned Iran could pull out
of the treaty that forbids it from developing nuclear weapons.

International reaction to Iran’s announcement indicated cautious
concern; Iran’s true intentions aren’t always clear. U.S. officials said
intelligence indicates Iran has far too little uranium ore for such an
expansion, and suggested a withdrawal from the nuclear treaty would only
strengthen the U…

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