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Iran begins uranium enrichment at new Fordo nuclear facilities: report

(Xinhua)

09:35, January 09, 2012

TEHRAN, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran has started uranium enrichment at the Fordo facility, the conservative Kayhan daily reported Sunday.

Iran has started injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at the Fordo facility near Qom city in central Iran, said the daily.

Kayhan quoted unnamed sources from inside the country and outside it as saying that Iran has already begun uranium enrichment amid heightened threats of Iran's enemies.

On Saturday, Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoon Abbasi said that the subterranean Fordo enrichment facilities will start operating in the near future.

"The Fordo facilities will be launched soon and will be able to produce 20 percent, 3.5 percent and 4 percent enriched uranium," Abbasi said during the opening ceremony of an exhibition displaying the country's nuclear achievements in the port city of Bandar Abbas in the southern province of Hormozgan.

In August, 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 that Iran is going to install new generation of centrifuges in its uranium enrichment sites and will increase its 20-percent uranium enrichment output by three times.

The West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment may be meant for producing nuclear weapons, which has been denied by Iran, saying its nuclear program is only for peaceful use.

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