Sunday, February 7, 2010

Iran's president orders higher enrichment of uranium

TEHRAN, IRAN - JUNE 14:  A supporter holds a p...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

clipped from www.cnn.com

(CNN) -- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered Iran's atomic chief on Sunday to enrich the country's uranium to 20 percent. The move is seen as a fresh challenge to Western powers trying to rein in Tehran's galloping nuclear drive.

"The doors for interaction are still open," Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony marking Iran's laser technology achievements. "We had told [the West] to come and have a swap, although we could produce the 20-percent-enriched fuel ourselves."

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Instead, Iran came back with a counteroffer, giving the West until the end of January to accept its own proposal. The details of that offer were never made public.

And on Friday, Mottaki said he believes a solution will be reached over the proposed deal to export uranium for enrichment abroad, a demand of Western nations who worry that Tehran plans to use its program to build nuclear weapons.

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