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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Iran moves closer to confrontation with West over uranium   February 7, 2010

[Ahmadinejad call for uranium enrichment at the 20 % level, ostensibly for medical use. --MF  ]  "Once enriched to 20 per cent, uranium needs to be further processed to 90 per cent for weapons purposes, but analysts believe Iran now has or is close to having the technical means to achieve that enhancement. "

Iran moves closer to confrontation with West

Mr Ahmadinejad's order was the culmination of a series of confusing statements by the regime in the last week. If it is carried out, it will scupper what was hoped to be a looming deal to transfer most of Iran's uranium abroad for further processing. Many in the West want uranium processing to take place outside the country so that fears over a weapons programme are allayed and the country's nuclear plans are better monitored.

European nations and America were already leading calls for more sanctions to be applied to Iran in the absence of a deal. Now if further enrichment starts, they are likely to put proposals to the United Nations security council soon.