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Defying sanctions, Iran vows to build new reactors

TEHRAN, Iran - Defying week-old UN sanctions over its nuclear program, Iran promised to expand its atomic research yesterday as its president vowed to punish the West and force it to "sit at the negotiating table like a polite child" before agreeing to further talks.

Tehran, which insists its nuclear work is peaceful, said it will build four new reactors for atomic medical research. The United States and some of its allies believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and the Islamic Republic's plans to expand research could encourage calls for more economic pressure against the country.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran will not make "one iota of concessions." He said he will soon announce new conditions for talks with the West. "You showed bad temper, reneged on your promise and again resorted to devilish manners," he said. "We set conditions [for talks] so that, God willing, you'll be punished a bit and sit at the negotiating table like a polite child," he told a crowd during a visit to the central Iran town of Shahr-e-Kord.

In Washington, the Obama administration took its first step Wednesday in implementing new sanctions, leveling penalties against additional individuals and institutions it says are helping Iran develop its nuclear and missile programs.

The list includes a bank; 22 petroleum, energy and insurance companies; two individuals and four organizations that are part of the Revolutionary Guard Corps; five front companies and more than 90 ships that Iran's national maritime carrier has been using to try to evade sanctions. Some are based in Iran, others in countries including Britain, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Germany.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the administration expects other countries to set new penalties soon. - AP


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