Last updated on February 12, 2010
Marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Thursday Iran was now a nuclear nation.
“One day they said we cannot enrich uranium, but with the resistance of our leader, nation … and with the help of God, the Iranian nation has become nuclear,” Ahmadinejad said.“They (Americans) want to dominate our region but the Iranian people will never let them do that,” he said in a speech at Tehran’s Azadi Square before a cheering crowd of hundreds of thousands.
Ahmadinejad asserted the Natanz plant, where Iran has been enriching uranium had the capacity to produce large quantities to replace any Iran shipped out.
“They think it is such a big job to take some hundred kilos of 3.5 pct uranium out of Iran,” he said, referring to the UN-drafted deal, which proposed supplying the fuel for the Tehran research reactor in return for Iran shipping out most of its stockpiles of LEU. “We are making several kilos of this in Natanz every day. In the near future, our daily production will be tripled.”
Iran previously enriched uranium to just 3.5 per cent but has started enriching it to the higher level required for a Tehran medical research reactor after snubbing a UN-drafted plan for the nuclear fuel to be supplied by France and Russia.
The White House has however dubbed the claim as an empty boast.White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the statement from Tehran was a political gimmick, and it is not based on science.