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Ahmadinejad also questioned why Iran had drawn such a chorus of criticism with its announcement last Sunday that it would begin enriching uranium to 20 percent.
"It is not necessarily a sign that Iran is enriching to levels beyond what it has declared," the paper quoted a diplomat in Vienna, as saying.
TEHRAN: Iran agreed Monday to a key big power demand, saying it was ready to ship much of its low-enriched uranium abroad a" but immediately rolled out a new obstacle to compromise on its nuclear program by insisting it would continue enriching to higher levels.
Salehi's announcement late Sunday came just hours after he was ordered by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to start enriching uranium to 20 percent to provide nuclear fuel to the Tehran reactor.
Actually, all Iran did was move a few hundred centrifuges that have been enriching to 20 percent at the Natanz centrifuge facility to a new site at Fordo, north of Qom, inside a mountain on a Pasdar military base.
According to ISIS, by enriching natural uranium to 20 per cent the Iranians will already have done almost all of the work needed to get it to 80 per cent.
Last week, DOE also decided to concentrate its future research and development effort on a laser technique for enriching uranium.
The Islamic Republic has been enriching uranium to about 3.5 percent for several years.
"Iranians have been enriching uranium to 3.5 percent U-235 for the last four years," Heinonen wrote in an analysis of Iran's nuclear program for Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, adding, "Last February, they also began enriching to 20 percent."
Iran began enriching uranium to 20 percent from February 9 following an order from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Salehi.
In a huge concession, the United States says it can agree to Iran enriching uranium in the future if Iran can establish that no uranium is being diverted to weaponry.