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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tehran denies deficit of uranium for nuclear programs

RIA Novosti

11/02/2009 15:34 TEHRAN, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqawi denied on Wednesday Western media reports that the country is experiencing a shortage of uranium in its nuclear industry.

In January, Britain's Times newspaper citing diplomatic sources reported that Iran's chemical concentrates from natural uranium ore would run out within several months and Tehran would have to purchase the raw materials from abroad.

"These reports are just speculations by some mass media and have no foundation," Qashqawi said during a news conference on Wednesday, adding that responsible reports on such issues came from appropriate bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Russia has supplied 82 metric tons of low-enriched uranium for the plant's light-water reactor. Spent fuel from the plant, which Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said is due to start operation in the first half of 2009, will be returned to Russia.

The United States has accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons, a claim denied by Tehran, which maintains its nuclear program is exclusively for the country's civilian energy needs.



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