The president, speaking in the northeastern city of Mashhad, congratulated the people of Iran, saying this day will be registered in Iranian history as a day of notable technological achievement.
"I announce, officially, that dear Iran has joined the nuclear countries of the world," Ahmadinejad said, adding that the hard work of scientists and young experts in Iran has managed to achieve the completion of the nuclear-fuel cycle.
"The nuclear fuel cycle at the laboratory level has been completed and uranium with the desired level of enrichment for nuclear power plants was produced on [April 9] of the current year, the year , by our young scientists," he said.
Ahmadinejad added, however, that the technology is for peaceful purposes only, and that Iran does not need to use nuclear weapons as a source for its power. He said the Iranian people get their power from God.
He concluded that Iran will work with the International Atomic Energy Agency and will abide by international rules. At the same time, he said Iran will continue with what it considers to be its right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, saying, "We have announced several times and I will repeat that our nuclear technology is for peaceful purposes."
Prior to the presidential speech, the head of Iran's nuclear energy organization, Gholamreza Aqazadeh, gave details of exactly what has been achieved by Iran. He said 110 tons of UF-6, also known as yellow cake, was produced and that Iran has become the eighth country in the world that can enrich uranium. He said it first began enriching uranium in February.
The West says it is concerned that Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. The UN Security Council has demanded that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activity by April 28. Iran has rejected the demand.
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.