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Iran to Keep IAEA in the Dark on Nuclear Sites


Iranian state media quotes nuclear official as saying Iran will not inform the International Atomic Energy Agency about new enrichment plants until six months before they begin production

An Iranian nuclear official says Tehran will only share the minimum amount of information about planned uranium enrichment facilities with the United Nations nuclear agency.

Iranian state media quote the official, Abolfazl Zohrehvand, Friday as saying that Iran will not inform the International Atomic Energy Agency about new enrichment plants until six months before they begin production. That was the timeline set under old IAEA rules.

The agency has since expanded its guidelines to require that countries announce new nuclear sites as soon as plans are drafted. But Iran says it renounced the amended rules in 2007.

Members of the IAEA recently voted to censure Iran for constructing a second uranium enrichment facility in addition to its one working plant. Iran issued a defiant response, announcing plans to build 10 new facilities.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran will enrich the uranium itself to 20 percent -- the purity needed for the medical reactor.

The announcement raised concerns that if Iran successfully enriches uranium to 20 percent, it would not be long before it could reach the 90 percent purity needed for a nuclear weapon.

Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

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

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