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Iran has entered an "industrial stage" in its production of nuclear fuel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Monday. 

Let's read what http://www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_ID=13318 wrote about Iran's uranium?

Iranís uranium enrichment enters "industrial level"

4/9/2007 1:00:00 PM GMT

Iran has entered an "industrial stage" in its production of nuclear fuel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Monday. 

"With great honour, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale," Ahmadinejad said in a speech at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran.

He did not say how many centrifuges - the machines that spin uranium gas in order to enrich it to levels needed for fuel - were now operational at Natanz.

But some Iranian officials said 3,000 uranium gas enrichment centrifuges were running at the nuclear plant. 

Iran's announcement, which suggests a significant progress in its nuclear program, is likely to anger Western states who claim that Tehran is secretly trying to build atomic bombs. 

But Ahmadinejad  asserted his country's right to nuclear development for peaceful purposes. He also warned that Iran would have no choice but to review its membership of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if further pressure was applied by the West.

Special events are taking place at Natanz to mark Iran's nuclear technology day.

Journalists and diplomats have been invited to the plant, but European Union diplomats are boycotting the event in protest at Iran's refusal to meet UN demands to stop uranium enrichment; a process that can be used to make bomb-grade material or nuclear reactor fuel - depending on the level of enrichment.

The UN Security Council has passed two resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran since December after talks to resolve the nuclear stand-off collapsed last year.

Tehran says that it is open to fresh negotiations but with no preconditions.


 

Iranís uranium enrichment "in early stages"

4/13/2007 12:00:00 PM GMT

Iran hadnít reached the industrial scale of uranium enrichment as it announced last week, the head of the UN atomic watchdog said.

Muhammad El-Baradei said Tehran only had hundreds of centrifuges for enriching uranium, not the thousands that would be needed for industrial production.

He also said that international concerns over Iranís nuclear program were based on its motivations rather than the scale of production.

Western states claim that Iran may use nuclear fuel to build atomic bombs, but Tehran insists that it would only be used to generate electricity.

"Iran is still at an early stage of building a plant to enrich uranium... There is no fear caused by Iran's uranium enrichment (in itself), but fears arise from the purpose of this enrichment," the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

"Iran is pressing ahead with building the Natanz reactor to have 54,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium. Now it is still at the hundreds stage," he added.

El-Baradei also said that Iran wouldnít be able to produce the highly enriched uranium needed for a nuclear bomb as long as itís under the supervision of IAEA inspectors.

A team of IAEA inspectors is currently in Iran on a routine visit to the enrichment facility at Natanz and other nuclear facilities in the Islamic Republic.

The UN inspectors arrived in Tehran last Tuesday, a day after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that his country had "joined the nuclear club of nations" by beginning the industrial scale enrichment of uranium.

Russia, which is building Iranís first nuclear power plant, as well other nations have cast doubts over Ahmadinejad's announcement.

The UN Security Council has passed two resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran since December after talks to resolve the nuclear stand-off collapsed last year.

The United States and its European allies insist that they will not negotiate with Iran until it suspends uranium enrichment.

But Tehran says that it is open to fresh negotiations but with no preconditions.