April 10, 2007 / 1:44 PM / 12 years ago

EU views Iran nuclear statement with "great concern"

BERLIN (Reuters) - EU president Germany said on Tuesday it viewed “with great concern” Iran’s statement that it had achieved the means to make nuclear fuel on an industrial scale.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that his country was now able to enrich uranium on a large scale for a nuclear programme it insists is for purely civilian purposes. The West suspects Iran wants to develop an atomic bomb.

“The presidency of the European Union views Iran’s announcement that it wants to enrich uranium on an industrial scale with great concern,” the German foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The presidency of the European Union renews its urgent call that Iran meet the demands of the international community so that a return to the negotiating table and a solution to the conflict over the Iranian nuclear programme is possible.”

Russia said earlier on Tuesday that it saw no signs that Iran had made significant progress with its nuclear programme.

That view was echoed by some western experts, who suggested Ahmadinejad’s statement may have been more of a public relations exercise than a sign of major technical advances in the programme.

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