VIENNA, Austria, (AP) – Iran is expanding its uranium enrichment program even as the U.N. Security Council focuses on possible sanctions for its defiance of a demand to give up the activity and ease fears it seeks nuclear weapons, diplomats said Monday.
The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge the information to media, told The Associated Press that within the past few weeks Iranian nuclear experts had started up a second pilot enrichment facility.
While the 164 centrifuges were not producing enriched uranium, even the decision to “dry test” them showed Iran’s defiance of the Security Council. The council had set an Aug. 31 deadline for Tehran to cease all experiments linked to enrichment, which can produce the fissile material for nuclear warheads.
The 15-nation council is expected to start full deliberations on sanctions later this week.