Edgy Iran heightened rhetoric on Sunday saying it will never stop uranium enrichment even as local media reported that an underground uranium enrichment facility in central Iran will soon start enriching uranium at a purity level far higher than what is needed for energy production.
Enrichment activities will never be given up in our country. The nuclear program of our country is totally peaceful and is a basic right of our nation, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said on Sunday, the Fars news agency reported.
Reuters reported on Sunday that according to an Iranian official, the Fordow nuclear enrichment plant will commence operations soon and it will have the capacity to enrich uranium at higher levels of purity.
Uranium needs to be enriched to a purity level of between 3 and 5 percent for nuclear power generation.
The Fordow nuclear enrichment plant will be operational in the near future ... 20 percent, 3.5 percent and four percent enriched uranium can be produced at this site, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi said, the news agency reported, citing local media reports.
Earlier on Saturday the country's top nuclear official said that full-fledged operations will start at the Bushehr nuclear power plant within weeks.
The Bushehr power plant, which has long been under construction, has often been portrayed as the face of Iran's nuclear program, but the West doesn't see it as a threat in itself any longer. With the new centrifuges at Bushehr, Iran will be able to enrich uranium above the purity level of 5 percent, the IRNA news agency reported. However, weapons grade nuclear enrichment will require uranium to be enriched to the purity level of above 93 percent.
But there are other Iranian nuclear sites that the West is alarmed about. These are mainly the Natanz facility and the Fordow nuclear enrichment plant in Qom.
The wary West has said it will not pull a punch if Tehran goes ahead with plans to produce a nuclear weapon. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington is concerned about Iran's activities in Qom and Natanz and other places where we believe they are conducting their weapons program, CNN reported.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Saturday that the Islamic Republic has also claimed it was ready to export nuclear technology to friendly nations in Africa. At present we are capable of exporting nuclear services to the friendly countries in Africa which own considerable uranium resources, Abbasi said on Saturday.