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Iran produces first uranium yellowcake

United States Department of Energy

Iran has produced its first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material for enrichment, atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday. The announcement comes a day before six-country talks on Iran’s nuclear programme are due to start in Geneva.


“The West had counted on the possibility of us being in trouble over raw material but today we had the first batch of yellowcake from Gachin mine," Salehi said on state television.

He said the development makes Iran self-sufficient, but he did not reveal the amount of the first domestically produced batch. The yellowcake is being transferred to Isfahan facility for conversion into uranium hexafluoride for enrichment.

"We cannot cover the overall need of the Isfahan facility but we will produce a significant part of it,” Salehi said.

Iran denies it is trying to make nuclear weapons and has continued with uranium enrichment in defiance of repeated UN Security Council ultimatums and sanctions.

The European Union’s chief diplomat Catherine Ashton will be leading the talks on Monday and Tuesday in Geneva. Representatives from Iran, the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain will also attend.

The six countries last year offered to turn 1,200 kilogrammes of Iranium uranium into fuel rods. France reiterated the offer on Tuesday.

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