U.N.: Iran ready to double uranium output

Nov. 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Iran is ready to double the output of its underground uranium enrichment facility, the United Nations nuclear watchdog has concluded.

A leaked report by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency said the number of operating centrifuges at the Fordo, Iran, facility could soon double from 1,400 to 2,800. The report said Iran produced 233 kilograms (512 pounds) of higher-grade enriched uranium since 2010, 43 kilograms (94.7 pounds) since August.

The report is likely to fuel western suspicion Iran is developing nuclear weapons, although the government insists its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, the BBC said Friday.

A senior Iranian legislator said proposed talks with the United States will not take place as long as Washington maintains a hostile attitude toward Iran.

"At a time when the U.S. position on the Islamic Republic is hostile, they approve anti-Iran budgets in the Congress, impose sanctions on the (Iranian) government and adopt resolutions against us, negotiations are meaningless," Alaeddin Boroujerdi, leader of the Iran Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told the Iranian news agency PressTV.

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