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. France concerned over Iranian nuclear boast
PARIS, April 10 (AFP) Apr 10, 2009
France expressed concern Friday after Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad boasted that his country had developed new nuclear fuel enrichment technology despite international pressure not to do so.

"These are worrying declarations," French foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier told reporters. "We need to check the accuracy of the figures ... and for that we'll wait for the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Chevallier reiterated France's call for Tehran to submit to a full IAEA inspection regime at all its nuclear sites and halt its ongoing programme to enrich uranium into nuclear fuel.

On Thursday, Ahmadinejad opened a nuclear fuel plant and announced the testing of two high capacity centrifuges, while claming that Iran's Natanz site now holds 7,000 working centrifuges to enrich nuclear fuel.

France and other Western powers accuse Iran of seeking weapons grade fuel in order to develop a nuclear bomb which would tip the balance of power in the Middle East. Iran insists it is developing civilian nuclear energy.

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