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April 9, 2013 7:59 am

Iran Announces Plans to Expand Nuclear Program

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Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran. Photo: Hamed Saber.

Iran, following a lack of progress in nuclear talks last week with the six world powers, has opened two news uranium mills and a milling plant, Reuters reported, citing the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

The new Saghand 1 and 2 mines and the Shahid Rezaeinejad yellowcake plant, which became operational on National Nuclear Technology Day in Iran, give the Islamic Republic “greater self-sufficiency in making the raw materials for enrichment to nuclear fuel and, potentially, for warhead-grade material,” according to Reuters.

“Iran has invested in the Saghand mine to help it develop an independent source of uranium for its nuclear requirements but project development has proceeded very slowly,” the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank said in a 2011 report on the Saghdad uranium deposits.

In a speech at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization on Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Western countries have “tried their utmost to prevent Iran from going nuclear, but Iran has gone nuclear.”

“This nuclear technology and power and science have been institutionalized… All the stages are in our control and every day that we go forward a new horizon opens up before the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said.

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