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Report: Iran closer to producing nukes

May 14, 2007 at 6:45 PM

NATANZ, Iran, May 14 (UPI) -- International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have reported that Iran is beginning to learn to enrich uranium and may be able to build nuclear reactors.

They said that Iran seems to have solved most of its technological problems and is now enriching uranium on a much larger scale, The New York Times reported Monday.

The report, expected to be presented to the United Nations Security Council next week, may trigger a response from Europe and the United States, who may seek to enforce a suspension of the Iran's enrichment program to prevent it from producing material that could be made into nuclear weapons. Although, in order to upgrade the uranium even more and produce weapons-grade materials, Iran would have to kick the IAEA inspectors out of the country, much like North Korea did in 2003, said the Times.

The inspectors found that Iran's main nuclear facility at Natanz was able to produce fuel suitable for nuclear reactors.

"We believe they pretty much have the knowledge about how to enrich," said Mohammed ElBaradei, the director general of the U.N, agency. "From now on, it is simply a question of perfecting that knowledge. People will not like to hear it, but that's a fact."

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