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10 January 2012 - 22:19

The Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) describes the hype created by the West over the start of enrichment activities at Iran's Fordo nuclear site as “exaggerated” and “politically motivated.”

Ali Asghar Soltanieh told ISNA on Tuesday that given Agency inspections the reactions of Western countries “are exaggerated and politically motivated and this behavior has occurred in the past [and is not new].”

On Monday, IAEA Spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the agency confirms that “Iran has started the production of uranium enriched up to 20%" at the Fordo facility.

She added that "all nuclear material in the facility remains under the agency's containment and surveillance".

Following the IAEA statement, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland claimed that Iran's enriching uranium to 20 percent at the Fordo site was "a further escalation of their ongoing violations with regard to their nuclear obligations."

“The Fordo enrichment facility was declared to the agency two years ago, and the agency has supervised all stages including the installment of centrifuges,” Soltanieh said.

The Iranian official emphasized all nuclear activities in Iran, including enrichment sites at Fordo and Natanz, are under the complete supervision of the IAEA.

The US and its allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have pressured the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions against the country based on this pretext.

As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, Tehran insists it is entitled to utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Meanwhile, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been geared up for nuclear weapons production.

News ID 181362