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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN nuclear watchdog to supply 20%-enriched uranium to Tehran reactor - Salehi

RIA Novosti


TEHRAN, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will receive 20%-enriched uranium for its research reactor in Tehran through cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, Iran's nuclear chief said on Wednesday.

"Cooperation with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and supplying fuel from abroad is Iran's priority," the Iranian news agency ISNA quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as saying.

Iran, which is already under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, recently announced plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities. Tehran insists it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity, while Western powers suspect it of pursuing an atomic weapons program.

The IAEA in November censured Iran for withholding information on its nuclear program. It also urged Iran to freeze construction of its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility near the city of Qom.

In response, Iran's parliament demanded that the government reduce cooperation with the IAEA following the resolution.

However, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the government is currently not considering pulling out of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, despite the recent worsening in relations with the UN nuclear watchdog, and will maintain ties with the IAEA.

"We have no intention of breaking relations with the IAEA," Ramin Mehmanparast Mehmanparast said. "We want to build 10 new plants under the monitoring of the agency. And this is our right, as we have already pointed out," he said.

Iranian President Mahmound Ahmadinejad has set a goal of producing about 250-300 metric tons of nuclear fuel annually.

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