Iran seen as advancing toward weapons-grade uranium


(JTA) — Iran reportedly has succeeded in enriching uranium to a level of purity that the West sees as a significant step toward producing weapons-grade enriched uranium.

The more than 37 pounds of uranium enriched to the 20 percent level of purity will be used as fuel for a medical research reactor, Iranian officials said in February, when the new enrichment was ordered begun by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The uranium was re-enriched from a 5 percent level of purity. Weapons-grade enriched uranium must reach 90 percent purity.

The announcement reportedly appeared Wednesday in the state-run ISNA Iranian student news agency.

Iran says it is developing its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

The United Nations Security Council earlier this month approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in protest of its nuclear development.

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