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Report: Iran converting enriched uranium to reactor fuel

JTA

February 12, 2013 | 6:04 am

A security officer stands next to a banner hung on the entrance of the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF), before a ceremony to form a human chain by Iranian students showing their support for Iran's nuclear program, in Isfahan, 450 km (280 miles) south of Tehran on Nov. 15. Photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

A security officer stands next to a banner hung on the entrance of the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF), before a ceremony to form a human chain by Iranian students showing their support for Iran's nuclear program, in Isfahan, 450 km (280 miles) south of Tehran on Nov. 15. Photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Iran announced that is converting some of its enriched uranium to reactor fuel.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that some uranium enriched to 20 percent purity was being converted into fuel for a research nuclear reactor in Tehran, the New York Times reported, citing the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

Details of the work were sent to the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International atomic Energy Agency, according to the spokesperson.

The conversion of the uranium means some depletion of Iran's stockpile of uranium that is approaching an enrichment suitable for a nuclear weapon.

IAEA deputy director Herman Nackaerts is scheduled to meet in Tehran with Iranian officials on Wednesday.  Iranian negotiators will meet later this month in Kazhakhstan with representatives of the world powers for multilateral talks over making Iran's nuclear program more transparent.

The Iranian spokesman also said Tuesday that the IAEA's request to inspect the Parchin military base could be honored if the organization agrees to acknowledge the Islamic Republic's right to have a nuclear program.

The IAEA has been trying to see Parchin for the last year. Satellite photos of the site near Tehran indicate that it has been used for nuclear weapons experiments. Other satellite photos show that it has since been sterilized, making it difficult to detect the kind of nuclear experiments that took place.

Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for domestic, peaceful purposes. Western powers believe Iran is preparing to build nuclear weapons.

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