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23 February 2010 [17:23] - Today.Az
Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh says the Islamic Republic has sent a new letter to the agency about supplying the fuel needed for a research reactor in Tehran.

"Iran is still ready to purchase the fuel it needs for Tehran research reactor," the letter said.

It asked the agency to fulfill its duty and "facilitate the delivery of the fuel."

"Iran is ready to simultaneously exchange the fuel required for the Tehran research reactor with its low-enriched uranium inside the Iranian territory if the IAEA lacks the ability to fulfill its duties," Soltanieh said in his letter to the UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano.

This comes as President Ahmadinejad announced on February 11 that Iran has successfully managed to complete production of its first stock of uranium enriched to 20 percent.

"We have produced the first batch of 20 percent enriched uranium at the Natanz enrichment facility," Ahmadinejad said.

Iran has requested the International Atomic Energy Agency to arrange for supplying of the fuel to the country. The West has been pressuring Iran to accept a UN-backed draft deal which requires Iran to send most of its domestically-produced low enriched uranium (LEU) abroad for conversion into the more refined fuel that the Tehran reactor requires to produce medical isotopes.

Tehran says its concerns on guarantees over the return of its LEU, should be heeded. The US, which first floated the proposal, refuses to consider Iran's demand.

Iran needs 120 kg (264 lb) of 20 percent-enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer patients and is soon to run out of fuel.

If the reactor's fuel completely dries up, there will be heavy consequences for thousands of Iranian patients, who desperately need post-surgery drug treatment with nuclear medicine.

Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says its nuclear program is directed at the civilian applications of the technology.

/Press TV/

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