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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Makes Crucial Nuclear Announcements

RIA Novosti

18:34 15/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled on Wednesday several crucial achievements of the country’s nuclear program amid increasing tensions from the West.

Ahmadinejad, who pledged to announce “some very important and major nuclear achievements” on Saturday at a rally marking the 33rd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, said that Iran has made its final step in completing the nuclear fuel cycle by inserting its first homemade nuclear fuel rods into a research reactor in north Tehran.

According to Iranian state-run Press TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoun Abbasi, attended the ceremony at a nuclear facility.

The Iranian leader also said that the Islamic Republic had launched “a cascade of domestically-made uranium enrichment centrifuges” of the latest generation at a nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, some 300 kilometers from the capital of Tehran, Fars news agency reported.

Abbasi, who also attended the ceremony of launching enrichment centrifuges, called the launch “a response to Western sabotage.”

Iran’s announcements come amid increasing tensions over its nuclear program, which Western countries and Israel suspect is aimed at the creation of atomic weapons. Iran says the program is designed solely for the production of civilian energy.

The United States and European countries have recently tightened sanctions against Iran and the European Union will ban Iranian oil imports by July.

Earlier on Wednesday, Press TV reported that Iran has stopped oil supplies to six European countries, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal, in response to the latest sanctions imposed by the European Union against its energy and banking sectors.

Later the Petroleum Ministry dismissed the reports, saying that “if such a decision is made, it will be announced by Iran's Supreme National Security Council.”

Western countries have yet to comment on Iran’s nuclear announcements.

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