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Iran Confirms Stepping Up Nuclear Work

An Iranian uranium-conversion facility in Isfahan (file photo) (AFP) October 28, 2006 -- An Iranian official today confirmed that Tehran has stepped up its uranium-enrichment work.

The "Iran Daily" quoted Mohammad Ghannad, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, as saying Iran is enriching uranium by 3 to 5 percent, enough for use in power stations but not for nuclear weapons.

On October 27, the United States reiterated its concerns that Iran may be seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.

But Russia's top defense official said he isn't concerned about the matter. Speaking the same day in Moscow, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Iran's nuclear work is being supervised by the international community.

"I do not share concerns about this because I know what I am talking about," he said. "Iran has started a second network of centrifuges that are, and I draw your attention to this, are under the total control of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]. These are empty centrifuges, they are at the moment not processing anything with them so to speak about enriching uranium is premature."

The UN Security Council has threatened Iran with sanctions if it refuses to stop its uranium enrichment.

(AP, Reuters)

Iran's Nuclear Program

Iran's Nuclear Program

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.