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Senior parliamentarian says Iran has halted 20 percent enrichment

Global Times (2013-10-25 P08)
By Reuters
Iran has stopped enriching uranium to 20 percent, a main demand of world powers in talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, a senior Iranian parliamentarian was quoted as saying.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, which regularly inspects Iranian nuclear sites, said it had no comment for now.

IAEA inspectors are believed to visit Iran's enrichment facilities about once a week. Iran enriches uranium to 20 percent fissile concentration at the Fordow underground site and also at a research and development site at Natanz.

Diplomats from member states accredited to the IAEA said they were not aware of any cessation of higher-level enrichment.

Iranian MPs have in the past made statements about Iran's nuclear program that the government later denied.

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a senior member of Iran's parliamentary national security commission, said Tehran had stopped processing uranium to levels above the 5 percent required for civilian power stations only because it already had all the 20-percent enriched fuel it needs for a medical research reactor in Tehran.

"Enrichment over 5 percent depends on the needs of the country; Iran's nuclear industry requires 20-percent enrichment for providing the fuel for its Tehran reactor, but this site has its required fuel at the moment and there is no need for further production," parliament's website quoted Hosseini as saying on Tuesday.

"Tehran will decide whether to have over 5-percent enrichment or not itself, but the issue of suspension or halt of enrichment activities is meaningless because no production is taking place at the moment," he said.

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