Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Iran declared its refusal Tuesday to discuss its nuclear program -- including the disclosure of a second nuclear enrichment plant -- when it sits down at the negotiating table Thursday with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, Reuters reported. A top Iranian official told the news agency that his country will not abandon its nuclear activities, "even for a second."
Iran's nuclear chief also announced Tuesday that his country built its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain and next to a military site to ensure continuity of its nuclear activities in case of an attack. The revelation comes as the Obama administration works up plans to push for new sanctions against the country, targeting its energy, financial and telecommunications sectors if it does not comply with international demands to come clean about its nuclear program, U.S. officials said Monday.
The officials said the U.S. would expand its own penalties against Iranian companies and press for greater international sanctions against foreign firms, largely European, that do business in the country unless Iran can prove that its nuclear activities are not aimed at developing an atomic weapon.
Among the ideas being considered are asset freezes and travel bans against Iranian and foreign businesses and individuals who do business in those areas, the officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the measures were still under review.