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Iranian Atomic Official: Tehran Needs a Few Years to Make Nuclear Fuel

The head of Iran's atomic energy agency says the country will need a few more years before it can make enough nuclear fuel for its power plants.

Iranian state media quote Gholam Reza Aqazadeh as saying the installation of uranium enrichment centrifuges is ongoing. He said each month when inspectors from the United Nations nuclear agency visit Iran, they will see key changes at Tehran's Natanz nuclear plant.

Aqazadeh says 50,000 centrifuges will be needed to produce fuel for two nuclear facilities. Iranian officials say 3,000 centrifuges are now operational at Natanz.

Meanwhile, European Union officials say EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will meet on Wednesday with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani.

Officials have not said where the meeting will take place.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

The U.N. Security Council has passed two resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.

The enrichment process can be used to create fuel for nuclear reactors or to produce nuclear weapons.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.