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UN Nuclear Agency Likely to Confirm Iran has Expanded Nuclear Work

The United Nations nuclear agency is expected Thursday to issue a report likely to confirm that Iran has expanded its uranium enrichment activities rather than suspend them.

The International Atomic Energy Agency report will go to the U.N. Security Council, which had set a deadline of Wednesday February 21 for Iran to shut down its controversial nuclear program.

But Tehran has remained defiant, a decision that may lead to further sanctions in addition to those imposed by the Security Council in December.

On Wednesday, Iran's President Mahmoud again vowed to press ahead with his country's atomic program. He said nuclear technology is important for Iran's "development and honor."

The United States and other major powers suspect Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

The U.N. Security Council gave Iran 60 days to cease enriching uranium, counting from December 23rd when the U.N. body passed sanctions against Tehran.

Although the 60-day grace period expired Wednesday, U.N. diplomats are giving Iran two months. That makes the actual deadline Friday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters