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Iranian Negotiator Says Enriched Uranium A 'Technical Issue'

Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh
Iran is playing down a UN report that said Iranian nuclear scientists had enriched uranium to a higher-than-expected level.

Iran's envoy to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said on May 26 that the traces of enriched uranium which were found were a "technical issue."

The IAEA said on May 25 that it had found at a site in Iran that had traces of uranium enriched to levels slightly higher than the 20-percent enrichment declared by Tehran.

But it said the enrichment could have been the result of a technical error.

Soltanieh accused Western media of blowing the issue out of proportion for political reasons.

Western powers suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

Iran denies the charge.

Twenty-percent enriched uranium is needed for nuclear fuel. Uranium enriched to 90 percent is used for nuclear weapons.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP