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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran says it has enriched uranium to 4.8%

RIA Novosti

02/05/2006 16:45

TEHRAN, May 2 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has enriched uranium-235 to 4.8%, the country's vice president and head of the Atomic Energy Organization said Tuesday.

Gholamreza Aghazadeh told the Iranian news agency ISNA that Iran was not planning to enrich uranium to more than 5%, as this level was enough to produce nuclear fuel [for a power station].

A report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on the Iranian nuclear problem was presented in the IAEA board of governors and the UN Security Council in late April. It said Iran had managed to enrich uranium-235 to 3.6% at the Natanz research center 1,000 miles from the Israeli border, using a cascade of 164 centrifuges, and was building two more.

However, experts said uranium should be enriched to at least 80% to create nuclear weapons.

Aghazadeh said 3,000 centrifuges would be installed by March 21, 2007 at a uranium-enrichment plant in Natanz.

Aghazadeh also said Iran had opened a uranium-concentrate field and would announce a tender for the construction of two new nuclear power plants within two months, adding that $200 million would be paid in advance to the tender's winner.

"If the tender does not occur due to certain reasons, the money will be used to complete the construction of the Bushehr NPP," he said.

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