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Iran To Step-Up Sensitive Nuclear Activities

Iran's uranium conversian facility, Isfahan.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Nov 01, 2006
Iran is preparing new uranium enriching centrifuges less than a week after starting up its second such cascade despite the threat of UN Security Council sanctions, an influential MP said Wednesday. "Other cascades are underway and we have plans to build many centrifuges in order to supply our nuclear fuel," Kazem Jalai, parliament's national security commission rapporteur, was quoted as saying by student news agency ISNA.

Iran on Saturday confirmed it had successfully enriched uranium from a new cascade of 164 centrifuges, the second to be installed at the Natanz nuclear plant in central Iran.

Enriched uranium is at the core of the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, as it can produce nuclear fuel and, in highly refined form of around 90 percent, be developed to a nuclear bomb.

But Iran says it aims to reach only five percent enrichment in order to make fuel.

Iran would need thousands more such centrifuges to enrich uranium on an industrial scale and its current uranium enrichment work is on a research level only.

"Even if we make 10 164-centrifuge cascades, it still remains at the level of research and development and we want to reach a certain phase in this level and then start the industrial work," Jalali said.

The UN Security Council's five veto-wielding members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- as well as from Germany have been discussing a draft UN resolution on sanctions put forward by European countries.

Jalali said that Iran would "react to such unfair resolutions", adding that a bill was heading to parliament that would suspend inspections by the UN's the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the event of sanctions.

The former head of Iran's nuclear dossier, Hassan Rowhani, who is a close aid to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also said that Tehran could suspend IAEA inspections if sanctions were applied.

"Approval of such a resolution will not remain unanswered and it is possible that one of (Iran's) moves could be a reduction of cooperations with the IAEA," Rowhani was quoted as saying by the semi-official news agency Mehr.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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North Korea To Rejoin Talks On Nuclear Program
Seoul (AFP) Nov 01, 2006
North Korea confirmed Wednesday it would return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks after a year-long boycott, as the chief US envoy stressed that the world needed to see progress at the next round. The announcement came less than a month after the reclusive communist state stunned the world with its first atom bomb test.

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