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Iran steps up its nuclear program

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Laaska News  Feb. 16, 2012

Iran steps up its nuclear program – RT

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced the country has begun loading domestically produced nuclear fuel rods into a research reactor near Tehran.

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“Since Western countries did not show their willingness to assist us, we launched our own uranium enrichment to 20% for the production of fuel rods,”
Deputy Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council Ali Bagheri said.
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Ahmadinejad also announced Iran ha started “a cascade of domestically-made uranium enrichment centrifuges” at a nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz.
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Iranian officials say the new centrifuges are capable of a higher enrichment speed than previous models.
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It was also reported that Ahmadinejad ordered the construction of four more nuclear research reactors in different parts of the country. The reactors will “carry out research activities and provide radio-medicine needed by the country,” he said.
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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reacted to the announcements by calling on Iran to freeze uranium enrichment activities and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
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Iran’s nuclear program is raising concerns in the international community. While Tehran claims it is entirely peaceful, the West suspects Iran of developing nuclear weapons.
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Meanwhile, Tehran has circulated a letter suggesting a date, venue and agenda for a new round of talks about its nuclear program.
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Brussels has confirmed receipt of the letter, but says it needs time to consider the suggestions and to consult with the United States, Russia, China and other partners.

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EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who maintains contact with Iran on the behalf of global powers, had written to Tehran in October suggesting talks resume.

15 February, 2012
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RT.
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