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Iran readies uranium for nuke enrichment-Diplomats
Updated: 2004-11-20 00:10

Iran is preparing large amounts of uranium for enrichment, a process that can be used to make nuclear weapons, days before its promise to freeze all such activities takes effect, Western diplomats said on Friday.

"The Iranians are producing UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) like hell," a diplomat on the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told Reuters. "The machines are running."

UF6 is the form of uranium that is fed into gas centrifuges, which purify uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants or weapons, by spinning at supersonic speeds. Iran had promised the European Union it would freeze enrichment as of Nov 22.

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