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. Iran working on new rockets: Ahmadinejad
TEHRAN, April 14 (AFP) Apr 14, 2009
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Tehran was working on manufacturing rockets that can carry satellites heavier than the one launched into space in February.

"They (world powers) think this (Safir-2) was our final rocket, but we are working on rockets which can go up to 700 kilometres (440 miles) and above and carry heavier satellites," he said in an address to visiting expatriate Iranians.

The Safir-2, which has a range of 250 kilometres (150 miles), was sent into space in February carrying Iran's first home-built satellite Omid (Hope).

Ahmadinejad also vowed to proceed with plans to produce nuclear fuel despite the international concerns over its continued atomic drive in the face of UN sanctions.

"According to the programme, we are going ahead with the production of (nuclear) fuel," he said.

Ahmadinejad last week inaugurated Iran's first nuclear fuel plant in the central province of Isfahan, indicating that the Islamic republic had mastered the complete nuclear fuel cycle.

He also reiterated that Tehran now had 7,000 centrifuges working at its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, also located in Isfahan.

Enriching uranium lies at the heart of the controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear programme as enriched uranium is used to fuel nuclear power stations but can also be used to make the core of an atomic bomb.

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