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Iran official says it has enriched uranium

Jan. 9, 2011 at 1:01 AM

TEHRAN, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Iran has produced about 88 pounds of 20 percent enriched uranium, the director of its nuclear program said Saturday.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Agency Energy Organization of Iran, told the Fars News Agency the enriched uranium will supply fuel for the Tehran research reactor.

"We have produced about 40kg (88.18 pound) of 20 percent (enriched) uranium and we hope to witness the injection of the first batch of Iran-made 20 percent fuel to the Tehran research reactor soon," Salehi told FNA.

He said Iran is now one of the few countries that can produce fuel rods for nuclear power production.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced Saturday new talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, the so-called five plus one group, will be held Jan. 21-22 in Istanbul, the Tehran Times said.

Iran insists its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, though the United States and many Western nations worry it could lead to the development of nuclear weapons. Saeed Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said after the talks resumed in December following a year's hiatus, that the country would not "talk about its nuclear rights or accept pressure."

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