|Ahmadinejad: Iran has joined nuclear nations|
By JPOST STAFF AND AP
Apr. 9, 2007
Following an announcement by one of Iran’s vice presidents that Iran had begun “industrial-scale” production of enriched uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that, “With great honor, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations.”
And from a delighted Associated Press:
Iran says it’s able to make nuclear fuel
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
NATANZ, Iran - Iran announced Monday that it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, a dramatic expansion of a nuclear program that has drawn U.N. sanctions and condemnation from the West.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony at the enrichment facility at Natanz that Iran was now capable of enriching nuclear fuel “on an industrial scale.”
Asked if Iran has begun injecting uranium gas into 3,000 centrifuges for enrichment, top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani replied, “Yes.” He did not elaborate, but it was the first confirmation that Iran had installed the larger set of centrifuges after months of saying it intends to do so. Until now, Iran was only known to have 328 centrifuges operating.
Uranium enrichment can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material for a nuclear warhead. The United States and its allies accuse Iran of intending to produce weapons, a charge the country denies.
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, had no immediate comment on Monday’s announcement.
The United Nations has vowed to ratchet up sanctions as long as Iran refuses to suspend enrichment. The Security Council first imposed limited sanctions in December, then increased them slightly last month and has set a new deadline of late May…
In his speech, Ahmadinejad insisted Iran has been cooperative with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, allowing it inspections of its facilities, but he warned, “Don’t do something that will make this great nation reconsider its policies” in a reference to the threat of increased U.N. sanctions.
“With great honor, I declare that as of today our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale,” Ahmadinejad said…
Across Iran, school bells rang on Monday to mark the “national day of nuclear energy.” The government sent out text messages of congratulations for the occasion to millions of mobile phone users.
In Tehran, some 200 students formed a human chain at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization while chanting “death to America” and “death to Britain.” The students burnt flags of the U.S. and Britain<./b>…