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IRAN'S PRESIDENT VOWS TO ENRICH URANIUM EVEN MORE

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VIENNA – In a defiant speech, Iran's president declared Wednesday that his country will enrich uranium to a much higher level — a fresh rejection of an international plan to curb Tehran's nuclear program.
  • Experts said that could put Tehran on the road to making the material needed to arm a warhead within months.
  • "I declare here that with the grace of God, the Iranian nation will produce 20 percent fuel and anything it needs itself," Ahmadinejad told a cheering crowd in the central city of Isfahan.
  • Iran denies any interest in developing nuclear arms, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech made no suggestion the Islamic Republic was planning to turn its enriched uranium stockpile into material that could be used in nuclear warheads.
  • Ahmadinejad said Tehran was ready to further enrich some of its present stockpile — now at 3.5 percent — to 20 percent, the grade needed to create fuel for a small medical research reactor in the Iranian capital.
  • Uranium enriched at low levels can be used as fuel for nuclear energy, but when enriched to 90 percent and above, it can be used as material for a weapon.
  • The United States and five other world powers have been trying to win Iran's acceptance of a deal under which Tehran would ship most of its low-enriched uranium stockpile abroad to be processed into fuel rods for use in the research reactor.
Source: AP
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