President Ahmadinejad (center) visited the enrichment facility at Natanz on 16 February (Fars)
17 February 2006 -- A high-ranking Iranian official says the Islamic republic has injected uranium gas into a small number of centrifuges, a step in the process of uranium enrichment.
Gholamreza Aqazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said on state television that Iran is not yet at the point of getting enriched uranium, and that several more months of work may be necessary.
The official added that Iran does not plan to leave the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, and said Iran would still make its nuclear facilities open for monitoring by the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency.
Aqazadeh also said Tehran remains ready to discuss a Russian proposal to have Iranian uranium-enrichment work carried out on Russian territory.
The official's comments came after France, for the first time, on 16 February accused Iran of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program. Iran rejected the allegation and accused France of trying to raise tensions.
READOn 4 February, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency approved in a 27-3 vote a resolution to report the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council. The key section of the resolution is Section 1, which states that the Board of Governors:
Underlines that outstanding questions can best be resolved and confidence built in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's program by Iran responding positively to the calls for confidence-building measures which the Board has made on Iran, and in this context deems it necessary for Iran to:
- reestablish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and processing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
- reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
- ratify promptly and implement in full Additional Protocol;
- pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol with Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
- implement the transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, which extend beyond the former requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations.
COMPLETE TEXT: To read the final resolution, with late-hour changes highlighted, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.