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Iran Declares It Is a Nuclear State, US Voices Doubts

On the 31st anniversary of the revolution that created the Islamic Republic of Iran, President Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had the capability to enriched uranium to a level that can be used in nuclear weapons.

In his speech to a pro-government crowd, many of whom were bussed from towns surrounding Tehran,  Ahmadinejad said that Iran had already enriched uranium to 20 percent U-235, and had the ability to enrich to 80 percent—the level needed to make a nuclear weapon—but had not done so yet, because “but we don’t enrich because we don’t need it.”

Earlier this week, Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi had announced that Iran was planning on enriching uranium to a 30 percent level, and outsourcing to Russian and France more highly–enriched uranium suitable for use in a nuclear reactor.

The reaction from Washington was doubt that Iran had the capability to enrich uranium even to a 20 percent level. Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, said “We do not believe they have the capability to enrich to the degree to which they now say they are enriching.” Despite doubt from Washington, the US imposed new sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard Wednesday, and is pressing hard in the UN to impose new sanction on the Islamic Republic.

Read more at Al Jazeera.

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