(CNN) - Iran's Cabinet has authorized the construction of another 10 uranium enrichment plants, its state news agency announced Sunday, further defying international calls to halt its production of nuclear fuel.
The Iranian Cabinet approved existing plans for five more facilities similar to its current plant at Natanz and ordered planning for five more to begin, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The dispatch quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying that the new plants will be used to produce fuel for civilian nuclear power stations.
The move comes two days after the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, passed a resolution demanding that Iran stop construction on a previously secret nuclear facility at Qom. The agency also repeated calls for Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program.
The IAEA said it would not comment on Sunday's announcement. But in Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the announcement "another example of Iran choosing to isolate itself."
"The international community has made clear that Iran has rights, but with those rights come responsibilities," Gibbs said in a written statement. "As the overwhelming IAEA board of governors vote made clear, time is running out for Iran to address the international community's growing concerns about its nuclear program."