Iran says first batch of higher enriched uranium produced

Iranian officials say Tehran remains prepared to exchange fuel, but under conditions which the West has rejected.

Iran says first batch of higher enriched uranium produced

Iran has produced its first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday, two days after the Islamic state announced it had started making higher-grade atomic fuel.

He also said in a televised speech that Iran would in the near future treble output of the fuel, adding it was able to refine the material further at its Natanz enrichment plant.

"Right now at Natanz we have the capability to enrich uranium to much higher levels," the president told a huge crowd of flag-waving people in Tehran's Azadi Square.

"By God's grace ... it was reported that the first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium was produced and was put at the disposal of the scientists," he said.

He told a huge flag-waving crowd on the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iran does not want to produce a nuclear bomb but if it ever did, it would do so publicly, a response to West.

"When we say that we don't build nuclear bombs, it means that we won't do that because we don't believe in having it," he said. "The Iranian nation is brave enough that if one day we wanted to build nuclear bombs we would announce it publicly without being afraid of you."

"Right now in Natanz (enrichment complex) we have the capability to enrich to more than 20 percent and (also) to more than 80 percent, but because we don't need to, we won't do so.

Ahmadinejad said Iran would in the near future treble output of 20 percent fuel. "Why do they (West) think by producing 20 percent fuel a major event has happened? Right now at Natanz we have the capability to enrich uranium to much higher levels."

Iranian officials say Tehran remains prepared to exchange fuel, but under conditions which the West has rejected.

For world powers and the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the swap's attraction lies in preventing Iran from retaining enough of the material for a nuclear weapon, if it were refined to 90 percent.

"Come and give us fuel without preconditions. We are ready to buy fuel from an country that provides us with it, we are even ready to buy fuel from America," Ahmadinejad said.


Reuters

Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 15:37
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