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TEHRAN, February 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Iran launched the loading of Iranian fuel elements to the Tehran research reactor, Deputy Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council Ali Bagheri told ISNA on Wednesday.
The fuel production for research reactors is “an important step on the path to implementation of the Iranian nuclear program,” he said. “Since Western countries did not show their willingness to assist us, we launched our own uranium enrichment to 20% for the production of fuel rods,” Bagheri noted. He also noted that on Wednesday Iran will send a response to the message of Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This response to the message will contain Iranian proposals on the date and venue of the next round of negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group (the group of international mediators for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem involving the UN Security Council permanent members and Germany).
Iranian sources reported that the republic will announce the end of the several projects in nuclear technologies at a festive ceremony on Wednesday. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to attend this festive ceremony.
Iran has recently negotiated with the International Atomic Energy Agency about the fuel supplies for the Tehran research reactor, which is used for medical needs. When these consultations deadlocked, Tehran began to enrich uranium to the level of 19.75%, and a plant for the production of fuel elements was launched in the city of Isfahan. In January the trial loading of the Iranian nuclear rod into the Tehran research reactor was reported.