Iran relaunches nuclear programme

The Iranian government has announced plans to open two new nuclear sites.

Today's announcement coincided with the Islamic Republic's Atomic Energy Technology Day and came less than one week after multilateral talks were held over curbing its nuclear programme.

According to reports, plans are in place to start uranium production at two new facilities in Ardakan and Saghand. Purified uranium can be used to create a nuclear weapon.

The decision to open two new nuclear sites has been widely criticised as a defiant response to the UN Security Council's sanctions.

Last October, the Institute for Scientific and International Security issued a report which said Iran could produce enough uranium to develop a nuclear weapon within one year.

The UN has imposed sanctions on Iran to slow down its drive to build a bomb, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would not rule out military action if the nuclear programme is not halted.

Last updated: 8:42pm, April 9 2013