Iran: U.N. criticism prompted decision to build new nuclear facilities
Iran had no intention of building 10 new nuclear facilities until it was rebuked by the U.N. nuclear watchdog over its nuclear works, the country's nuclear chief said Monday. Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi told state radio that Iran needed to give a strong response to the International Atomic Energy Agency's resolution Friday demanding that Iran halt to construction of its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility and end all other enrichment activities.
According to the AP, the Iranian Cabinet ordered the country's Atomic Energy Organization to start building new facilities at five sites that have already been studied and propose five other locations for future construction within two months. The new sites are to be on the same scale of Iran's only other industrial enrichment plant currently in operation, near the town of Natanz in central Iran.
"We had no intention of building many facilities like the Natanz site, but apparently the West doesn't want to understand Iran's peaceful message," Salehi said. "The action by 5+1 (U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) at the IAEA prompted the (Iranian) government to approve a proposal to build 10 sites like that of Natanz," he said.
On Sunday, Salehi said Iran would build its new sites inside mountains to protect it from possible attack because Iran has decided not to let its nuclear activities stop "even for a moment."