Report: Official Says Iran Will Continue to Enrich Uranium
Updated: May 27, 2012 | 3:19 p.m.
May 27, 2012 | 3:10 p.m.
Despite indications earlier this week that Iran was close to striking a deal on its nuclear program, the country's nuclear chief said on Sunday that it will not stop producing high-grade nuclear material, the New York Times reports.
Fereydoon Abbasi said on state television that Iran would continue to enrich uranium to the 20-percent level it says it needs for its medical reactors, and plans to start building two new plants in 2013. The announcement will complicate international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, which were at a standstill after two days of talks last week, and are slated to continue in mid-June.
While the U.S. and other Western nations want Iran to halt production of highly-enriched uranium and to export its existing stockpile, Iran seems unlikely to agree to such a scenario, and neither side has expressed a willingness to compromise. If an agreement is not reached, a coalition of nations, led by the U.S., will tighten sanctions on Iran in July.