Iran enriching more uranium to 20 percent

April 9, 2010 at 10:22 AM
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TEHRAN, April 9 (UPI) -- Iranian nuclear scientists have produced several pounds of uranium enriched to the level of 20 percent, regulators in Tehran announced.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said his country had produced uranium enriched to the 20-percent level for use as medical isotopes, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reports.

He told reporters in Tehran that "good news" on nuclear fuel production would be announced in the coming months.

Iran is under fire for a controversial nuclear program. Western leaders are putting economic pressure on Iran for a program thought to be moving toward a weapon, though Iran insists the program is for medical and energy use.

Iran sits on some of the largest oil and gas deposits in the world.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said ahead of a regional nuclear summit scheduled April 17 in Tehran that nuclear disarmament must be a global objective.

"Iran does not believe in nuclear weapons nor does it need one," he was quoted as saying. "Iran believes that the era of nuclear weapons is over."

Washington hosts world leaders for a similar conference starting Monday.

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