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Reports: Iran Continues Uranium Enrichment Despite UN Deadline


Iran is reported to have begun enriching a new batch of uranium, in an apparent sign it plans to ignore Thursday's U.N. deadline to suspend sensitive nuclear activities.

Western news agencies and The Washington Post are reporting the new batch of uranium is small. The reports quote anonymous diplomatic sources.

A U.N. spokesman says a U.N. nuclear agency report detailing Iran's nuclear program and its refusal to meet the deadline will be released later Thursday.

The report will be sent to the U.N. Security Council, which had demanded that Iran stop enriching uranium by Aug. 31.

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department said the U.S., France, Britain, Russia, China, the five permanent Security Council members, and Germany will begin meeting in Europe next week to discuss possible sanctions against Iran. A State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, says the time has arrived where sanctions are merited.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the Security Council has no right to act against Iran.

The West accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.