“We have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 percent or 80 percent, but we don’t enrich (to this level) because we don’t need it,” he added. “When we say we do not manufacture the bomb, we mean it, and we do not believe in manufacturing a bomb.”
“If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it,” he said.
Tehran says it wants to enrich uranium to 20 percent as a part of a plan to fuel its research reactor which provides medical isotopes to hundreds of thousands of Iranians undergoing cancer treatment.
But the West says Iran is not capable of turning the uranium into the fuel rods needed by the reactor. Instead, it fears that Iran wants to enrich the uranium to make nuclear weapons.
A confidential document from the U.N. nuclear agency shared Wednesday with the Associated Press said Iran’s initial effort at higher enrichment is modest, using only a small amount of uranium and a fraction of its capacities.
Western powers say Iran has rejected an internationally endorsed plan to defuse the situation by having Iran export its low-enriched uranium for further enrichment abroad and returned as fuel rods for the Tehran reactor.
Iran, in turn, asserts it had no choice but to start enriching to higher levels because its suggested changes to the international plan were rejected.
The president said Iran will triple the production of its low-enriched uranium in the future.
“God willing, daily production (of low-enriched uranium) will be tripled,” he said.
Ali Akbar Dareini contributed to this report from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. George Jahn contributed from Vienna.
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