Iran looks to expand nuclear program, constructing new power plants
A handout picture released by the official website of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows Khamenei attending a meeting with Iranian Azeri ethnics in Tehran earlier this month. (AFP PHOTO/HO/IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER'S WEBSITE)
Iran has announced a find of new uranium deposits that could treble its current reserves and substantially expand its nuclear program, the BBC reported on Saturday.
The 16 new sites, found in the Persian state's north and south coasts as well as in Khuzestan province and the North West could allow Iran to bypass UN sanctions on importing nuclear material.
The pariah nation is set to begin international talks on Tuesday in Kazakhstan about the nuclear program, which are likely to include negotiations about the sanctions.
Iran has signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and insists that it is not intending to enrich uranium to the extent of creating a nuclear weapon. However, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, "overall, credible" evidence exists that up until 2003, Iran was at least researching the possibility of creating such a weapon.
Israel has repeatedly insisted that the Persian state is intending to create atomic weapons and has called for tighter sanctions.