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Iran "definitely" capable of enriching uranium to 20%: official

2010-02-10 09:06 BJT

TEHRAN, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday that Tehran is definitely capable of enriching uranium to 20 percent, local English-language Press TV reported.

Salehi made the remarks in response to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who described Iran's plan as a political bluff and said Iran does not have the ability to enrich uranium to 20 percent and accused Tehran of "blackmail," the report said.

Salehi had said Iran would begin 20 percent uranium enrichment under the direct supervision of Intentional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors on Tuesday.

"The preparations have been made and the enriched uranium will be turned into plate-type fuel for the Tehran research reactor," he added.

On Tuesday, Press TV reported that Iran began enriching uranium to a level of 20 percent at its Natanz enrichment facility under the surveillance of inspectors from the IAEA.

On Monday, Iran handed over a letter to the IAEA, informing it about the Islamic Republic's plan to produce 20 percent enriched uranium, provoking fresh warnings from France and the United States of new sanctions.


Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua