Gulf & Middle East
'Iran to produce nuclear fuel, electricity within five years'
May 20, 2007 - 10:07:05 AM

Tehran, May 20 - A senior Iranian nuclear official has said that Tehran would produce both nuclear fuel and electricity in five years' time.

Iran will also be among the countries to gain domestic nuclear energy in the next decade, Mohammad Saeedi, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said, was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying.

He made the remarks at a seminar held Saturday at the Arak Open University attended by the director of the Arak heavy water nuclear facility and some other local officials.

'Iran has been the first country to gain access to this technology step by step on its own,' Saeedi said. 'In order to achieve comprehensive development and reach its targets, Iran should equip itself with all kinds of modern technologies and this requires national will.'

According to Iran's announced nuclear energy strategy, it wants to construct a network of about 20 nuclear power plants with a capacity of 20,000 MW by 2025.

The Bushehr nuclear power plant, being built by a Russian contractor and located in southwestern Iran, is the country's first nuclear power.

The US and some other western countries have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of its civilian nuclear programme. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted on March 24 a new resolution with tougher sanctions to pressure Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities.

Iran has refused to heed the Security Council's demand, insisting that its nuclear programmes are for peaceful purposes only.

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