Iran plans to build two new nuclear reactors and retract an earlier offer to stop enriching uranium up to 20%, the nation's top nuclear official told state news today, the New York Times reports. "Iran will build a 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant in Bushehr next year," Fereydoon Abbasi Davani said, according to AFP. He said the second plant is planned for southwestern Iran sometime in the coming years. Designs for the 360-megawatt facility near the Iraqi border "have been finished and we are reviewing it," he said.
Abbasi Davani's announcement is sure to complicate future nuclear talks between Iran and Western powers, the Times notes. Suspension of uranium enrichment was a central demand in several United Nations Security Council resolutions. “We have no reason to retreat from producing the 20% because we need 20% uranium just as much to meet our needs,” Abbasi Davani was quoted as saying. The state news report follows a leak this week that Iran had enriched some uranium as high as 27%.