Iran soldiers on with enrichment

TEHRAN, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Nuclear enrichment at the underground Fordo nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom is ongoing without interruption, an Iranian lawmaker said Monday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to accelerate talks to de-escalate the dispute related to Iran's nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency said there may be a military dimension to certain aspects of Iran's nuclear research though Iranian officials said weaponization is against their principles.


U.S. President Barack Obama told Rouhani in a phone call last week he respected Iran's right to peaceful nuclear research but insisted on concessions to prevent weapons development.

Esmayeel Kosari, a member of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told the semi-official Fars News Agency researchers were working on enriching uranium to a level of 20 percent purity.

"The centrifuges at Fordo [near Qom] have been installed completely and the facility is in full operation and without any problem or deficiency," he said Monday.

Enrichment beyond 20 percent is considered a breakthrough on the path to a nuclear weapon.

Rouhani said Iran's nuclear rights would garner more respect if his country were able to establish a better relationship with its counterparts in the international community.


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