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IAEA Says Iran Temporarily Halted Uranium Enrichment In November


A file picture shows the uranium-enrichment complex of Natanz in central Iran (file photo from 2007).

A file picture shows the uranium-enrichment complex of Natanz in central Iran (file photo from 2007).

In a new report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran temporarily halted lower-level uranium enrichment work earlier this month.

The report did not give any reason for the halt, saying only that it occurred in mid-November.

Despite the temporary suspension, the report says Iran's total output of low-enriched uranium rose to reach a total of 3.18 tons -- an amount experts say could be enough for at least two nuclear bombs if further refined.

Earlier, Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said a malicious computer worm known as Stuxnet had not harmed the country's atomic program.

Salehi's remarks came amid reports that technical problems had forced the temporary shutdown in Iran of thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium.

The Stuxnet disruptions gave rise to speculation that Iran's nuclear program may have been targeted for sabotage by the United States or its allies.

compiled from agency reports
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