June 17th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Iran starting work on new nuclear reactor, official says

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/meast/06/16/iran.nuclear/story.iran.gi.jpg caption="Pictured is the building housing the reactor of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran." width=300 height=169]

Tehran, Iran (CNN) - Iran is starting design work on a new nuclear reactor, the head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization said Wednesday, according to Iranian media.

The design should be complete in two to three years and the reactor should be operational within five, Ali Akbar Salehi told the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

The remarks come a week after the United Nations Security Council slapped new sanctions on Iran as punishment for its controversial nuclear program.

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