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Archive for Thursday, February 16, 2006

President, top officials visit nuclear power plant

February 16, 2006

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— President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the Natanz uranium enrichment plant Wednesday, a day after Tehran confirmed it had resumed small-scale enrichment there last week, the official news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad's visit to the plant in central Iran is widely seen as a gesture of support and a morale boost for scientists involved in Iran's uranium enrichment program. Activities at Natanz had been suspended since October 2003.

Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh and other top officials of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran accompanied the president on his visit, the Islamic Republic News Agency said.

Iran insists its nuclear program is designed solely to generate electricity. Many Western nations, led by the United States and Israel, fear Tehran is trying to build nuclear weapons and have sought to stop Iran from enriching uranium.

Iranian officials announced Tuesday that enrichment had resumed last week but that large-scale enrichment, as required for producing fuel for nuclear reactors, had not resumed.

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