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Iran "will press on with enrichment": Nuclear chief

Published on Nov 29, 2012 6:50 AM

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran will go on refining uranium"with intensity" and the number of enrichment centrifuges it has operating will rise substantially in the current year, the country's nuclear energy chief was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The comments by Mr Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, signalled continued defiance in the face of international demands that Tehran halt enrichment to the higher 20 per cent fissile purity level, close down its Fordow enrichment plant, and ship out its stockpile of the material.

But he also said Iran would continue and possibly raise its output of reactor fuel using 20 per cent enriched uranium - which suggests that less of it might be available for use in what the West suspects is an attempt to develop atom bombs.

Iran says it needs 20 per cent refined uranium - as opposed to the lower-grade enrichment to 3.5 per cent level needed for nuclear power plants - to turn into fuel for a medical research reactor in Tehran.

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