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16 February 2012 - 22:26

China has urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to step up cooperation with Iran with regard to the country’s peaceful nuclear program.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency should strengthen contact and cooperation with Iran in order to restore the international community's trust in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program," China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin said .

"As a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is entitled to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and it should also fulfill corresponding international obligations," he added.

The call came one day after Iran announced its latest nuclear achievements, including placing the first indigenous fuel rods into the Tehran Research Reactor.

Meanwhile, 3,000 new generation centrifuges have been installed and activated at Natanz nuclear facility, bringing the number of Iran's active centrifuges to 9,000.

According to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the fuel rods were produced at Isfahan nuclear facility and transferred to the Tehran Research Reactor under the supervision of the IAEA inspectors.

The US, Israel and their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing a covert weapons program under the cover of its civilian peaceful nuclear program.

Iran maintains that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Despite different Western allegations against Iran, in its numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities the IAEA has never found evidence of diversion in the country’s civilian nuclear program.
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