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Iran Says Can Make Own Nuclear Fuel Plates, Rods

Ali Akbar Salehi

Iran's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran is capable of making its own nuclear fuel plates and rods of the kind needed to power a Tehran research reactor that makes medical isotopes.

He told Fars news agency in an interview on January 8 that "we have built an advanced manufacturing unit in the Isfahan site for the fuel plates" and Iran is now "one of the few countries which can produce fuel rods and fuel plates."

The statement by Salehi, who is also Iran's acting foreign minister, comes as Western powers have repeatedly said Iran does not possess such technology.

Western powers had previously offered to make fuel rods available for Tehran's medical isotope-producing reactor as an incentive for Iran to give up its controversial uranium-enrichment activities, but no deal was reached.

compiled from agency reports