24 June 2010
The head of Iran’s nuclear program has said that his country had succeeded in enriching 17 kilos of uranium to 20-percent purity grade. Although this is still far below the over 90 percent grade required to build a nuclear weapon, Western officials believe that Iran is now moving closer to reach weapons-grade level.
Iran has been enriching uranium to a higher degree since February, from its existing 5-percent purity grade stockpile. The figure of 17 kilograms was announced by Vice-President Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads Iran's nuclear program. "Potentially, we can produce 5 kilograms a month, but we are not in a hurry over this," Salehi said, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency.
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