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Iran threatens to up uranium enrichment if Vienna talks fail

The Iran Atomic Energy Organisation said today that it will continue to enrich uranium up to the five percent level and could even raise it to a higher 20 percent grade if talks on a third-party enrichment deal fail.

world Updated: Oct 19, 2009 14:26 IST

The Iran Atomic Energy Organisation said on Monday that it will continue to enrich uranium up to the five per cent level and could even raise it to a higher 20 per cent grade if talks on a third-party enrichment deal fail.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran... will continue its enrichment activities inside Iran up to the five percent level," the official IRNA news agency quoted the organisation's spokesman Ali Shirzadian as saying.

"But if the negotiations do not yield the desired results, Iran will start enriching uranium to 20 per cent level for its Tehran reactor. It will never give up this right."

Shirzadian was commenting as Iran prepared to join talks in Vienna with representatives of France, Russia, the United States and the UN nuclear watchdog on a proposed deal for a third party to process low-enriched Iranian uranium to the 20 per cent purity required by the Tehran research reactor.