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Iran's uranium enrichment at Natanz only for research: Official

Tehran, Feb 15, IRNA-Iran is carrying out uranium enrichment at its Natanz facility only at research level, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh, said in Tehran on Tuesday.

Aqazadeh made the remark while speaking to the Central News Bureau of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

"Research is a time-consuming work. Mere gas injection into one or a few centrifuge machines cannot be regarded as enrichment," he said.

He added: "Technically, research for nuclear fuel production needs several months in a process starting with limited machines to the 164-figure chain."

"The current work is only for conducting laboratory tests and evaluation of the enrichment process," he said.

Aqazadeh reiterated that production of nuclear fuel is a time-consuming process which needs productive research, and added that Iran has not yet drawn up any plan for nuclear fuel production at the industry level.

"Currently, there is no plan to undertake enrichment at the industry level."

He stressed that Iran's research activities cannot be used as a pretext for trying to reach a consensus against Iran at the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and accused the "Western press of a disinformation campaign to create a negative view on Iran's nuclear program."

Pointing to Iran's cooperation with the IAEA, he said: "Iran still cooperates with the agency."

"Despite its decision to suspend voluntary cooperation within the framework of the Additional Protocol, IAEA inspections on Iran's nuclear sites are continuing in accordance with the safeguards regime."

... Payvand News - 2/15/06 ... --

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