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Iran cranks up uranium capacity after talks stumble

Iran cranks up uranium capacity after talks stumble
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Iran has opened two new uranium mines and a plant to process the ore, just days after talks with western powers over its controversial atomic programme ended fruitlessly.

On the country’s National Nuclear Technology Day, President Ahmadinejad stressed the need to speed up the work, in direct defiance of many international calls.

Major western powers, including the EU and the United States suspect Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Tehran insists the programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

Deputy Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Mohammad Reza Bahonar said: “There is no problem about holding talks, as long as negotiations are interactive, fair and mutually beneficial.”

The Iranians claim the processing plant is capable each year of producing 60 tonnes of yellow cake, a vital stage in the uranium purifying process.

Iran has admitted refining uranium to 20 per cent, which is way above the level needed to fuel an atomic power station.

Ahmadinejad said that attempts by world powers to prevent Iran from ‘going nuclear’ were too late. Iran had already ‘gone nuclear’ he said.

He put on show five new cancer treatments Iran claims were produced by its atomic programme.