The moves came in response to the UN Security Council's unanimous vote on March 24 to expand sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt-enrichment activity.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is quoted as calling the UN resolution "illegal" and pledging that Iran will not stop what he called its peaceful and legal nuclear work "even for one second."
Ahmadinejad also said Iran would not forget which nations supported the resolution and would adjust its international relations. No further details were given.
The new sanctions block Iranian arms exports, and impose an international freeze on the assets of 28 people and organizations involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs. The measure says all sanctions would be suspended if Iran halts uranium enrichment.
A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)
CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)