Iran has expanded its uranium enrichment program instead of complying with a U.N. Security Council ultimatum to freeze it, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Thursday. "Iran has not suspended its enrichment-related activities," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report.
The IAEA detailed recent activities indicating Tehran expanded its enrichment efforts - setting up hundreds of uranium-spinning centrifuges in an underground hall and bringing some 9 tons of the gaseous feedstock into the facility in preparation for enrichment. It added that Iranian officials had informed the agency that they would expand their centrifuge installations to have thousands of them ready by May.
In the report, written by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency also said Tehran continues building both a reactor that will use heavy water and a heavy water production plant.
The six-page report added that agency experts remain "unable ... to make further progress in its efforts to verify fully the past development of Iran's nuclear program" due to lack of Iranian cooperation.
In Tehran, the deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammed Saeedi, reacted: "Iran considers the (IAEA demand for) suspension as against its rights, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and international regulations."
"That's why Tehran could not have answered positively to the request by resolution 1737 of the UN Security Council for a suspension of enrichment activity," Saeedi said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.