Iran hails nuclear 'breakthrough'

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Iran hails nuclear 'breakthrough'

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Iran has sent a defiant message to the West over its nuclear programme.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hailed Tehran’s first-ever use of “domestically made” reactor fuel at a ceremony in the Iranian capital on Wednesday.

The Iranian president also announced the development of “faster, more efficient” uranium enrichment centrifuges.

It comes at a time of increased tension between Iran and western powers over Tehran’s nuclear activities.

The EU and the US have already imposed trade and financial sanctions.

The Iranian government insists its atomic ambitions are purely peaceful with the goal of producing electricity for its growing population.

Iran’s pursuit of its nuclear programe derailed negotiations with the five permament members of the UN Security Council and Germany over a year ago.

In 2010, Tehran started to enrich uranium to a fissile purity of 20 percent, raising fears it wants to produce weapons grade material.