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Defiant Iran inaugurates 2 nuclear-linked projects

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has inaugurated of two key nuclear-related projects just days after another round of talks with world powers seeking to limit Tehran’s atomic program.

State TV said Tuesday that operations are now underway at Iran’s biggest uranium mine at Saghand and a uranium ore concentrate production plant in Ardakan, both in central Iran.

Neither site represents breakout technology for Iran, which already has smaller uranium mines and processing facilities. But it gives Iran greater self-sufficiency in making the raw materials for enrichment to nuclear fuel and, potentially, for warhead-grade material.

Iran is looking to dramatically expand its enrichment program amid U.N. sanctions that prevent Iran from buying nuclear materials.

The U.S. and its allies fear that Iran may ultimately be able to develop a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies.

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