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Starting gun fired in Mideast race for nuclear power

IRAN'S CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 10 uranium-enrichment facilities has renewed global attention on nuclear energy ambitions in the Middle East. Several pro-Western Arab states are rolling out their civilian nuclear projects with the backing of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran said in late-November that it had begun work on five new sites, with locations for a further five to be found by this month, exacerbating the diplomatic stand-off with the UN. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also said that his government is prepared to cut back already limited co-operation with the IAEA. The focus on Iran's alleged use of uranium for military purposes has distracted attention

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