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Iran to complete nuclear R

Written by: Staff

TEHRAN, Dec 5 (Reuters) Iran will complete its nuclear research and development work by March, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator today said as six world powers meet to discuss imposing sanctions over Tehran's atomic plans.

''All parts of our research and development programme will be achieved by the end of this Iranian year (March 2007),'' Ali Larijani told Iran's official IRNA news agency, without elaborating.

Tehran says it will expand its atomic work by installing 3,000 centrifuges, devices used to enrich uranium either to make fuel for power stations or material warheads. Tehran insists its plans are peaceful but the West fears it has military goals.

Iran now operates two chains of 164 centrifuges and has only enriched tiny quantities of uranium to levels used in power stations. Experts say with 3,000 centrifuges in place, Tehran could make enough material for at least one warhead in a year.

Larijani said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed about Iran's nuclear plans.

''This (completing nuclear R&D) certainly will be under supervision of the agency,'' Larijani said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday Iran was one step from mastering the fuel cycle but did not give details.

Reuters SI DB2237

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