Reuters: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday his country would soon take the “final step” in its nuclear programme, Iran’s official news agency reported without saying what that would involve. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday his country would soon take the “final step” in its nuclear programme, Iran’s official news agency reported without saying what that would involve.
The president did not explain what the “final step” was, but Iran has said it will press ahead with its atomic plans despite U.N. calls to halt uranium enrichment, which the West believes is part of a plan to build atomic bombs.
Tehran, which says its aims are peaceful, now faces possible sanctions for ignoring the U.N. demands, but there is still no agreement at the U.N. Security Council about possible penalties.
“The Iranian nation is about to take its final step in the nuclear issue,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
The president has previously said Iran would celebrate its nuclear achievements by the end of the Iranian year, which falls in March 2007.
Iran now operates two experimental chains of 164 centrifuges, which can be used to make fuel for power plants or material for warheads.
But the Islamic Republic has said it wants to develop “industrial-scale” enrichment. It plans to install 3,000 centrifuges by March and Ahmadinejad told a news conference on Tuesday Iran’s ambition was to have 60,000 centrifuges.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a report Iran was still stonewalling investigations aimed at determining whether its plans are peaceful.
Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, says it only wants to harness nuclear power to generate electricity.