Ahmadinejad. 'Equation will change'
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
Iranian nuclear plant. Significant progress?
Photo: AFP

Iran: We'll soon join nuclear club

Iranian presidents declares country successfully enriched uranium for first time, says 'equation to change in favor of Iranian people'

Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared the Islamic republic has reached a key step in its nuclear program and that it will "soon join the club of countries that have nuclear technology", state television reported.


The announcement came 15 days before the expiry of a U.N. Security Council deadline for Iran to slam the brakes on its uranium enrichment program - the focus of fears the Islamic regime could acquire nuclear weapons.


"The equation will change in favor of the Iranian people," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northeast of the country.


Ahmadinejad has also told the country to expect "good news" later Tuesday about the nuclear drive, amid reports the country has made key progress in uranium enrichment to make reactor fuel.


And in an interview with the Kuwait news agency KUNA, influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said a cascade of centrifuges - devices that spin at supersonic speeds to enrich uranium - had been operated at a facility in Natanz.


"We operated the first unit which comprises 164 centrifuges, gas was injected, and we got the industrial output," Rafsanjani was quoted as saying.


"We must expand the operation of these devices in order to become a full industrial unit, as we still need dozens of such units to become a plant for uranium enrichment," he said.


U.S.: Iran moving in wrong direction


The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization confirmed on Tuesday that Iran had enriched uranium to a level used in nuclear power plants.


"I am proud to announce that we have started enriching uranium to the 3.5 percent level," Gholamreza Aghazadeh said in a televised address, adding that the pilot enrichment plant in Natanz, south of Tehran, had started working on Monday.


White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Iran was "moving in the wrong direction" With its nuclear programme and if it persisted, the United States would discuss possible next steps with the U.N. Security Council.


"If the regime continues to move in the direction that it is currently, then we will be talking about the way forward with the other members of the Security Council and Germany about how to address this going forward," McClellan said on board Air Force One en route to Missouri.


פרסום ראשון: 04.11.06, 19:15
 new comment
This will delete your current comment