Iran to announce ‘major nuclear progress’

Guardian.co.uk – February 11, 2012

Iran will soon reveal “very big new achievements” in its controversial nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced.

Speaking at a rally in Tehran to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad also said Iran would never give up its uranium enrichment progamme.

“In the coming days the world will witness Iran’s announcement of its very important and very major nuclear achievements,” Ahmadinejad told a crowd at Tehran’s Azadi [Freedom] Square broadcast on state television.

Tens of thousands of Iranians joined state-organised rallies across the country to mark the anniversary of the overthrow of Shah, who was largely reviled as a US puppet by his opponents.

The US and its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran insists its programme has only peaceful purposes.

The Islamic republic has said it is forced to manufacture nuclear fuel rods, which provide fuel for reactors, on its own since international sanctions ban it from buying them on foreign markets.

Tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions have risen sharply in recent weeks amid expectations of a military strike by Israel.

Earlier this week, US president Barack Obama ordered the freezing of Iranian government assets, including transactions by the Iranian Central Bank, in tightened sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

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