Iran to start work on new nuclear site: President Advisor

08:20, April 20, 2010      

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A senior advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Iranian chief executive has approved the site for a new uranium enrichment facility, the local Press TV reported on Monday.

"The president has confirmed the designated location of a new nuclear facility and the construction process of the new site will begin upon the president's order," Press TV quoted Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi as saying.

The locations of new nuclear sites, which the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) plans to build this year, have been verified. The construction process of these sites is currently underway, he added.

Samareh Hashemi said Iran was still open to talks on the nuclear swap deal, adding that the domestic production of enriched uranium does not mean Iran will not import any fuel, and Iran has started to enrich uranium domestically based on its own need to provide fuel for the Tehran research reactor.

AEOI chief Ali Akbar Salehi announced in February that Iran would start the construction of two new enrichment sites by March 2011.

At the same time, Iran began enriching uranium to the level of less than 20 percent for a nuclear research reactor in Tehran which is running out of fuel.

The decision was made after the West failed to respond to Iran' s concerns over a UN-brokered nuclear fuel swap deal, which required Iran to send most of its low-enriched uranium abroad for further processing and conversion into fuel rods for the research reactor.

Iran agreed to the IAEA-backed proposal but said it needed guarantees that the other side would deliver the fuel in a timely manner.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons. But Iran denies the allegations and insists it has the right to pursue peaceful nuclear.



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