Minister announces nuclear advance
Iran will make its own fuel later this year for a nuclear research reactor, its foreign minister said Saturday, announcing a “ breakthrough” that appeared timed to strengthen Tehran’s hand in talks with world powers.
Less than two weeks before a second round of talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran was pushing ahead with the uranium enrichment that the council has asked it to suspend, citing fears it could be used for atomic bombs.
Salehi said that after a technological breakthrough, it was set to make the nuclear fuel plates and rods it needs to produce its own reactor fuel and that the country has now stockpiled 88 pounds of uranium enriched to 20 percent, up from 66 pounds reported in October. Uranium enriched to that level is enough to produce fuel for a medical research reactor but not for nuclear weapons.