Iran uses new machines to enrich uranium: IAEA

August 10th, 2010 - 8:37 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, Aug 10 (IANS) Iran has used a second set of centrifuge machines to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity at its Natanz facility, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said.
The Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog said Monday the move would make Iranian efforts to enrich uranium to higher levels more efficiently, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

Western countries have long suspected Iran is trying to build nuclear bombs under the cover of a nuclear energy programme. However, Iran insists its enrichment activity is only for peaceful purpose.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday Iran is ready to participate in negotiations based on a nuclear fuel swap deal.

Iran, Turkey and Brazil signed an agreement May 17, in which Iran committed itself to giving 1,200 kg of its 3.5-percent enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20-percent enriched uranium to be used as fuel in the research reactor in Tehran.

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