Iran Plans To Develop Uranium Enrichment Equipment

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | January 31, 2013 11:11 PM EST

In an announcement that could further deteriorate dispute over Tehran's nuclear activities, Iran has told the U.N. nuclear agency that it plans to upgrade equipment to enhance uranium, Reuters has reported.

The report from the news agency suggests that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) received a letter from Iran that said the country would take new measures to use more modern uranium enrichment equipment at its main atomic plant near the central town of Natanz.

The news has triggered concerns in the West and Israel about the possibility of the nuclear program having military links. This comes in spite of Iran saying its work is peaceful.

The plant in the town of Natanz is designed for operating tens of thousands of machines and it is not clear how many equipment Iran will upgrade. The west suspects that Iran in the end will aim to process the enriched uranium further to produce bombs although Iran's stated aim is only to fuel nuclear power plants.

This announcement made to the IAEA based in Vienna comes at a time when disagreements continue between Tehran and Six world powers about the venue and time to meet next so that they could make resolutions aimed at averting a new Middle East War. The six countries -- the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China -- want Iran to stop working towards uranium enrichment which could lead to unwanted military and civilian actions.

Over the years the United Nations has sternly imposed sanctions on Iran targeting its oil industry which has adversely impacted Iran's economy. Iran is, however, resolute on its aims and ambitions.

The report says that Iran has insisted that the country must have freedom to develop uranium for peaceful purpose and has rejected to calls to end the work. This was highlighted in the letter to the IAEA dated Jan 23 about its equipment plans.

The machines that Iran plans to develop has the ability to increase the amount of uranium in much more speed than the machines they have been using till  now - the 1970's IR-1 model which is prone to breakdowns, according to Reuters. 

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