As it prepares for two sets of negotiations with outsiders on its disputed nucle ar programme, Iran said Tuesday that it was converting some of its enriched uranium into reactor fuel, the state news agency IRNA reported, potentially limiting the expansion of stockpiles that the West fears could be used for weapons.
Iranian officials are to meet Wednesday in Tehran with Herman Nackaerts, the deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, which has been pressing for access to a restricted military area at Parchin, south of Tehran.
Western countries suspect that Tehran is seeking to acquire the technology to make nuclear weapons, but Iran says the programme is for peaceful purposes like the creation of reactor fuel for civilian use.
At a news conference, Ramin Mehmanparast, the foreign ministry spokesman, was asked to comment on a report that scientists had converted some uranium enriched to 20% purity into fuel for a research reactor in Tehran. The spokesman said the "work is being done" and details had been sent to the IAEA.