Los Angeles Times | December 6, 2010
By Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim

As diplomats arrive in Geneva, the head of Tehran’s nuclear program says his nation can produce its own yellowcake, used in the process of creating nuclear fuel.

Reporting from Washington and Tehran —

As diplomats began arriving in Geneva ahead of long-awaited talks to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the head of Tehran’s nuclear program on Sunday upped the ante, claiming a breakthrough that could make the Islamic Republic self-sufficient in the production of uranium.

In his announcement, probably aimed at bolstering Tehran’s bargaining position at the talks, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi said his nation had achieved the ability to produce its own yellowcake, uranium powder that is used in the process of creating nuclear fuel. By using ore mined in southern Iran, he said, the nation would no longer need imported uranium.

“The enemies and ill-wishers have always tried to create despair and disappointment among our youth, academicians, engineers and our nation, but today we witness the delivery of the first batch of yellowcake which is produced inside the country,” Salehi said at a news conference broadcast on state television.

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