Iran declares nuclear 'self-sufficiency'

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Iran declares nuclear 'self-sufficiency'

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Iran has declared nuclear “self-sufficiency” ahead of talks with world powers aimed at convincing Tehran to suspend some parts of that programme.

Senior Iranian officials say that for the first time they have mined their own uranium, which can be processed into material used to make nuclear energy or weapons.

“Iran has become self-sufficient in the entire fuel cycle, starting from (uranium) exploration, mining and then turning it into yellowcake and converting it to UF6 and then turning it into fuel plates or pellets,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.

Iran denies it is seeking a weapons capability.

The country has continued to defy UN Security Council calls to halt its uranium enrichment.

Western and Iranian diplomats are set to meet in the Swiss city of Geneva from Monday.

The West wants the talks to focus on the nuclear question.

Tehran, however, wants to discuss wider regional security issues and Israel’s suspected arsenal of atomic weapons.