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Iran to enrich uranium to 50 pct if necessary: nuclear chief

04-17-2013 02:47 BJT

TEHRAN, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said Tuesday that his country will enrich uranium to 50 percent if there is a strong nuclear power need, semi-official Fars news agency reported.

"At present, we have no enrichment plan for purity levels above 20 percent, but when it comes to certain needs, for example, for some ships and submarines, if our researchers need to have a stronger underwater presence, we will have to make small engines which should be fueled by 45 to 56 percent enriched uranium," said Fereidoon Abbasi.

In defiance to the Western calls on halting nuclear enrichment activities, Iran inaugurated several nuclear-related projects last week marking the National Nuclear Technology Day.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated Shahid Rezaeenejad Yellowcake (uranium concentrate powder) complex in the city of Ardakan in the central province of Yazd.

The Islamic republic also launched Saghand uranium complex in Yazd, projected to extract uranium from 350-meter depth under the ground. The extracted uranium will be processed into Yellowcake in Shahid Rezaeenejad complex.

After the two-day nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany -- concluded on April 6 in Almaty of Kazakhstan, both sides said that the gap of positions over some key points seemed unlikely to be bridged.

While Iranian officials said any mechanism to settle Iran's nuclear issue in the talks should take into consideration Iran's right to uranium enrichment activities, the revised proposal by the world powers asked Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment and shut down its underground Fordow enrichment facilities in return for limited sanction lift.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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