IAEA confirms Iran produced first batch of 20% fuel

February 20, 2010 - 0:0

VIENNA/TEHRAN (Agencies) - The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed on Thursday that Iran last week produced its first batch of 20% enriched uranium.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Feb. 11 - the day marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution – that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) had succeeded to produce the first batch of nuclear fuel enriched to 20 percent.
Iran decided to produce nuclear fuel to a level of 20 percent after the West and the IAEA failed to provide 20 percent enriched fuel to run Tehran’s research reactor that produces medical isotopes.
In its report, the first under Yukiya Amano, the UN nuclear watchdog also said Iran has set aside most of its low-enriched uranium stockpile for this purpose.
The report said Iran had produced about 4,550 pounds of low-enriched uranium so far.
35 surprise visits
The Vienna-based nuclear agency also said its inspectors have made 35 surprise visits to the Iranian nuclear facilities.
IAEA endorses Iran’s peaceful nuclear work
“The information available to the agency is extensive… broadly consistent and credible in terms of the technical detail, the time frame in which the activities were conducted and the people, and organizations involved,” Amano said in his report.
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s nuclear envoy, said the report reaffirmed the civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
“The new director-general of the IAEA has confirmed that Iran’s nuclear activities are peaceful and that there are no deviations in material or activities toward military purposes,” Soltanieh explained.
Iran’s envoy: Warhead report is fabricated
In its report the IAEA said it had not yet resolved questions about U.S.-fabricated documents which that claim Iran was engaged in experiments with a clandestine nuclear program.
“The information . . . raises concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile,” the report said.
Soltanieh said the documents cited in the report by the IAEA were “fabricated and thus do not have any validity.”
“I have also said many times that when they showed these documents to us none of the documents had any confidential or secret stamps on them,” Soltanieh insisted.
“And thus it was proved that all of the documents have been fabricated and are baseless and thus do not have any validity.
“The issue of the missile or explosives has nothing to do with the IAEA’s charter and function,” he added.
In an interview with the Mehr News Agency, Soltanieh also said Tehran is only obligated to answer questions related to its commitments to the NPT and not something which falls outside IAEA jurisdiction.
He said Iran has provided “clear answers” to all issues related to IAEA inspections, nuclear material, and enrichment.
“The Islamic republic of Iran does not answer questions and claims outside the duties of the (International) Atomic Energy Agency.”
Russia urges Iran to be more cooperative with IAEA
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Iran must cooperate more actively with the UN nuclear agency, Interfax news agency reported.
“Tehran must be more active in its cooperation with the IAEA and widen it,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko was quoted as saying at a briefing in Moscow on Friday.