Ahmadinejad orders production of 20% enriched nuclear fuel

TEHRAN, Feb. 7 (MNA) -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to start work to produce nuclear fuel enriched to a purity of 20 percent for the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical radioisotopes.

However, Ahmadinejad said Iran is still prepared to make a deal for an exchange of nuclear fuel. 

 

The president gave the order to AEOI Director Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran on Sunday at the Laser Science and Technology Achievements exhibition.

 

“Mr. Salehi, you start 20 percent enrichment, and at the same time we are still ready to negotiate for an exchange of fuel,” the president declared.

 

Ahmadinejad also said enriching uranium is one of the most important uses of lasers, and Iran is able to enrich uranium using laser technology.

 

Uranium can be enriched at a high speed and to a high quality using laser technology, but Iran does not intend to use lasers at the moment, and God willing, Iran will start production of 20 percent enriched uranium using centrifuges, he stated.

 

Tehran had given the West two months to accept Iran’s conditions for a nuclear swap, saying that if no deal was reached, Iran would produce the fuel itself. The deadline ended on February 1.

 

Iran gave them two to three months to make a final agreement on this deal, the president said.

 

The West wanted Iran to send most of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium abroad in return for higher-enriched fuel.

 

“If the Western countries want interaction and cooperation without preconditions, the door is still open,” the president stated.

 

Speaking on the sidelines of the Munich security conference on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that the fuel exchange must be simultaneous and that Iran would determine the quantities of uranium to be exchanged in the deal.

 

PA/SL/HG

END

MNA

 

News Code 38442

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