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Iran ramping up uranium enrichment

A view of Iran's first nuclear power plant is seen after it was opened by Iranian and Russian engineers in Bushehr, Iran, south of Tehran on August 21, 2010. UPI/Maryam Rahmanianon
A view of Iran's first nuclear power plant is seen after it was opened by Iranian and Russian engineers in Bushehr, Iran, south of Tehran on August 21, 2010. UPI/Maryam Rahmanianon | License Photo

TEHRAN, June 8 (UPI) -- Iran is tripling production of enriched uranium, its nuclear energy chief announced Wednesday.

Fereidoon Abbasi told the government's Fars News Agency the 20-percent enrichment program will be carried out under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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The operation also is being moved from Natanz to Fordo, near the holy city of Qom.

Earlier this year, Abbasi's predecessor, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Iran has produced almost 90 pounds 20-percent-enriched uranium for a research reactor in Tehran.

Iran says the United States and its allies have blocked a deal with the IAEA to exchange 3.5-percent-enriched uranium for 20-percent, and it must produce its own.

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