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Higher enrichment of uranium to be at Natanz site: Iran atomic chief

2010-02-08 08:39 BJT

TEHRAN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, said on Sunday that the 20 percent enriched uranium would be produced at facilities in the central Iranian city of Natanz.

Iran is capable of producing 20 percent enriched uranium with laser technology, but now it has no plans to do so, Salehi told the official IRNA news agency.

As soon as the Iranian president declares the failure of talks with world powers on nuclear swap deal, Iran will start production of higher enrichment uranium upon direct order of the president at the Natanz site, Iran's main enrichment complex.

Under a draft deal brokered by the international nuclear watchdog IAEA, most of Iran's existing low-grade enriched uranium will be shipped to Russia and France, where it will be processed into fuel rods with a purity of 20 percent.

The higher-level enriched uranium will then be transported back to Iran to be used in Tehran's research reactor. Tehran had been standing against the deal till Tuesday.

Salehi said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has underlined that Iran is still committed to the fuel swap deal.

Earlier in the day, the Iranian president ordered the AEOI to start work on enriching uranium to a purity of 20 percent, the Mehr news agency reported.

However, Ahmadinejad said Iran is still ready for exchange of nuclear fuel with world powers, the report said.

Ahmadinejad said that the country has possessed the laser uranium enrichment technology, adding that Iran is currently using the system of centrifuges for enriching uranium and it would not use the laser technology.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua