Wire: Iran Now "Nuclear State" Says Ahmadinejad
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2010 -- Newswire services this morning reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran has produced highly enriched nuclear material in defiance of the West, as his country on Thursday marked the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iran is now a "nuclear state" Ahmadinejad announced this morning.
The French news agency AFP reported that Ahmadinejad said, "The head of the atomic energy organisation said the first stock of 20 percent fuel was produced and delivered to scientists." in a speech at Tehran's Azadi [Freedom] Square before a crowd of hundreds of thousands.
AFP, however, also noted that a restricted document of the International Atomic Energy Agency which monitors Iran's nuclear work revealed on Thursday that the country would produce its first batch of higher enriched uranium "within a few days."
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano wrote in the one-page report that Iran had informed agency inspectors that it had "begun to feed the low-enriched uranium (LEU) into one cascade [of uranium-enriching] centrifuges" at its plant in Natanz.See links below for details.
Iran to produce higher enriched uranium in days: IAEA
"They were also told that it was expected that the facility would begin to produce up to 20 percent enriched [uranium] within a few days," according to Amano.
The IAEA head added that "it should be noted that there is currently only one cascade installed in [Natanz] that is capable of enriching the LEU up to 20 percent."
(Report from newswire sources.)
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