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Iran Produces Its First Nuclear Fuel Pellets

An official in Iran's nuclear program says Tehran has produced its first nuclear fuel pellets for use in a nuclear reactor currently under construction.

Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's atomic energy organization, said Saturday there would be enough enriched uranium pellets by September of 2008 to power the 40 megawatt Arak research reactor.

The issue of uranium enrichment is the basis for the standoff between Iran and the West.

Iran says it is processing uranium in order to generate electricity for its population. Western countries believe Tehran is developing the technology needed to build nuclear weapons.

On Thursday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said that in spite of greater cooperation from Tehran in key areas, the agency is not able to confirm that Iran's nuclear work is entirely peaceful.

The IAEA issued a report that credits Iran with progress in revealing details about its nuclear program, but also says Tehran continues to defy United Nations demands to stop enriching uranium.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.