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EU to Expand Iran Sanctions

In this photo released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), the reactor building of Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is seen, just outside the port city of Bushehr, Iran, November 30, 2009.

European Union officials have announced the EU plans to significantly expand sanctions against Iran.

Diplomats Thursday said the EU has agreed to add about 100 companies to its embargo list in response to Tehran's refusal to halt its disputed nuclear activities.

The announcement comes after officials at the United Nations nuclear watchdog voiced concerns that Iranian intelligence might be hacking into International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) computers and cell phones.

Officials with the IAEA said Tehran's attempts to get confidential information most likely happened when diplomats inspecting Iranian facilities were forced to check in their cell phones and laptops, or when they left the equipment unattended in hotels.

Iran has argued that its nuclear program is civilian in nature. International observers and Western governments are concerned that Iran is enriching uranium as part of a nuclear weapons program.

Earlier in May, EU officials said that Iran's latest offer to restart nuclear talks with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States contained nothing new and did not justify another meeting.

On May 11, Iran's nuclear agency said Russia has delivered a new shipment of uranium fuel for use at its Bushehr nuclear power plant.

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