Iran to treble atomic fuel output
Tehran, February 11, 2010
Iran has produced its first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday, two days after the country announced it had started making higher-grade atomic fuel.
He also said in a televised speech that Iran would in the near future treble output of the fuel, adding it was able to refine the material further at its Natanz enrichment plant.
"Right now at Natanz we have the capability to enrich uranium to much higher levels," the president told a huge crowd of flag-waving people in Tehran's Azadi Square, comments likely to add to Western concern about the Islamic state's nuclear ambitions.
"By God's grace ... it was reported that the first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium was produced and was put at the disposal of the scientists," he told the crowd marking the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
"In the near future we will treble its production," Ahmadinejad added.
"Why do they (world powers) think that 20 percent is such a big deal? Right now in Natanz we have the capability to enrich at over 20 percent and at over 80 percent, but because we don't need it we won't do it." Ahmadinejad also said.