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Iran Confirms Producing Materials For Nuclear Fuel

6 October 2004 -- Iran has announced it has produced a gas needed to enrich uranium -- confirming it has taken a necessary step toward producing nuclear fuel for atomic weapons.

Hussein Musavian, a top offical at Iran's Supreme National Security Council and Tehran's envoy at the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), made the announcement today in an interview with The Associated Press. Musavian also said that Iran is producing that gas under full IAEA supervision.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming confirmed that the process is being conducted under the agency's supervision.

Today's developments come after former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani yesterday said that Iran has the power to launch a missile up to 2,000 kilometers -- capable of hitting Israel and parts of Southeastern Europe.

Washington reacted to the announcement by calling Iran's missile program a serious threat to the Middle East.