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Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran: Iran enriches 30 kg of 20-pct uranium

21 October 2010 [11:21] - TODAY.AZ
Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that Iran has produced 30 kg of 20-percent uranium, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Presently, Iran is extracting uranium from its domestic Gatchin mine of Bandar Abbas, located in the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Salehi told reporters, Xinhua reported.

Simultaneously, "we are conducting the exploration operations ( for uranium) in that region," he was quoted as saying.

"Fortunately, at this stage, we have gained access to good layers (of uranium) and we are making preparations for their extraction," he added.

Salehi further said that Iran has also explored two more mines with uranium reservoirs but has not launched any extraction operations in those mines yet, according to Mehr.

In the face of West's denial to provide Iran with the 20- percent enriched uranium for Tehran's research reactor, the Iranian officials have said that they will press on with enriching uranium to 20 percent purity until its nuclear fuel needs are met.

In February, Iran stepped up its uranium enrichment level to 20 percent -- still much lower than the around 90 percent bomb grade but a significant development from its under-five-percent purification.

Western countries are pushing for multidimensional sanctions against Iran over its persistence on pursuing its sensitive nuclear program. Tehran insists that its nuclear program is " peaceful" and aims at energy production for civilian use.


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