Iran flaunted a new generation of centrifuges and mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle Wednesday as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, clad in a white lab coat, was on hand to load domestically made fuel rods into the core of a Tehran reactor.
Also announced was an intent to start production of yellowcake, a chemically treated form of uranium ore used for making enriched uranium.
United Nations sanctions ban Iran from importing yellowcake. Domestic production would further Iran's nuclear self-sufficiency.
In a speech outlining the latest developments, Ahmadinejad said Iran was willing to share its nuclear knowledge with other nations that subscribe to the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The U.S. State Department, however, dismissed Iran's announcements as bluster for a domestic audience.
"We frankly don't see a lot new here. This is not big news," said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. "In fact, it seems to have been hyped. The Iranians for many months have been putting out calendars of accomplishments and based on their own calendars they are many, many months behind."
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