Iran defies West with plan for four nuclear reactors
Iran raised the stakes in its confrontation with the West yesterday by declaring it would build four new nuclear reactors outside the international safeguards regime. Just a week after the UN imposed a fourth round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, officials said that Tehran was determined to supply its own nuclear plants with domestically manufactured uranium fuel.
The announcement appeared to mark the death knell for diplomatic efforts to supply the country's only functioning nuclear plant with fuel processed in France and Russia.
A compromise proposed in October would have seen Iran swap uranium from its stockpile for foreign-made fuel rods under strict conditions that would have reduced the risk of a nuclear bomb being produced.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was determined to maintain its nuclear programme despite the ruinous effects of sanctions on the country's economy.
He said: "If they think they can use sticks to pressure Iran, we say that the Iranian nation will break all of their sticks." (© Daily Telegraph, London)