TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Iran Defies United States With Nuclear Breakthrough

Iran Defies United States With Nuclear Breakthrough

Agence France Press NewsWire (
Tue, 11 Apr 2006 12:46:24 -0500

Iran defies UN/USA with nuclear breakthrough

Iran announced it had successfully enriched uranium to make nuclear
fuel, a major breakthrough in its disputed nuclear drive that is in
defiance of the UN Security Council.

The announcement came just 15 days before the expiry of a Security
Council deadline for Iran to freeze its enrichment programme -- a
process that can be extended to make the fissile core of an atomic

In a speech carried live on state television, vice president and
atomic energy chief Gholam Reza Aghazadeh announced that "on April 9,
we successfully enriched uranium to 3.5 percent," the purity required
for civilian reactor fuel.

He also said the progress in enrichment "paves the way for enrichment
on an industrial scale."

The announcement, made in the northeastern city of Mashhad before top
regime officials, was greeted by chants of "Allahu Akbar" ("God is
Greatest"), and the singing of patriotic songs.

Iran insists it only wants to generate nuclear power, but is widely
suspected in the West of seeking to developing nuclear weapons. "If
the United States leaves us alone; then we will leave you alone," Iran
officials insisted.

On March 29, the Security Council called on Iran to suspend uranium
enrichment to provide a watertight guarantee that its nuclear
programme is peaceful, with International Atomic Energy Agency chief
Mohamed ElBaradei asked to report on Iranian compliance after 30 days.

ElBaradei is also due to arrive in Tehran overnight Wednesday.

ElBaradei said the government 'fully expects' the United States to
make the first agressive attack on their country, and "we will respond
as needed; we are about able to defend our country now; an attack on
Tehran by the USA is expected; if it happens we will return fire."

Copyright 2006 Agence France Presse.

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