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Iran vows to continue 20 pct uranium enrichment

(Xinhua)

08:42, August 30, 2011

TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoon Abbasi said Monday Iran will never stop 20 percent uranium enrichment.

"The enrichment of uranium to the level of 20 percent is continuing, and it will never be stopped," Abbasi told the official IRNA news agency, adding that "we will increase the amount of fuel (at the level of 20 percent) to save for Tehran research reactor."

However, "we have no plan to enrich uranium beyond the current level of 20 percent," Abbasi said.

The Iranian nuclear chief said Iran has moved 20 percent uranium enrichments to Fordo site, since Natanz enrichment facility was not as safe as Fordo.

"Iranian nuclear sites including Fordo enrichment facility has been under full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), so that the IAEA's cameras are monitoring them 24 hours," he was quoted as saying.

Earlier in the month, Abbasi said that the Islamic republic had started transferring the nuclear enrichment centrifuges of its Natanz nuclear facility to the Fordo atomic site.

In June, Abbasi said Iran would triple the 20-percent uranium enrichment output after the enrichment process was moved to Fordo.

Asked about the amount of enriched uranium by Iran, Abbasi said Monday that the IAEA has been informed of the amount of enriched uranium by Iran and the IAEA has ensured Iran not to disclose the information concerning Iran's nuclear program and "I don't want to publicize it (the amount of enrich uranium)."

In June, Iran's permanent representative to IAEA Ali-Asghar Soltanieh said that Iran had produced over 50 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium by then.

Talking to Xinhua on the sidelines of an international nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran, Soltanieh said that "we need 120 kg enrichment up to 20 percent. Of course, we have been able to produce successfully over 50 kg."

Meanwhile, Abbasi said Monday that Iran has plans to export radio-medicine to the regional countries.

He told IRNA that "with the aim of exporting radio-medicine, we should construct new reactors."

"IAEA has responsibility towards us. The agency should let us use the IAEA's training workshops," he said.

About Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, Abbasi said Monday that Iran will launch the plant completely at the end of autumn.

Abbasi said that the turbine of the power plant which is made by the Russians has passed an initial "successful test" but it needs longer time for the completion of all the tests.

Iran has started negotiations with the Russians for the construction of further nuclear power plants in the country, he told IRNA.

Other countries, especially from the west, can also participate in the construction of Iranian power plants, he added.

The West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment may be meant for producing nuclear weapons, which has been denied by Iran who claims its nuclear programs are only for peaceful use.

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