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    Iran Calls 84% Uranium Enrichment Allegation a ‘Conspiracy’

    Iran Calls 84% Uranium Enrichment Allegation a ‘Conspiracy'

    , United Arab Emirates — Iranian state television on Friday offered an extended defense against an accusation attributed to international inspectors that it enriched uranium to 84% purity, with an official calling it part of a “conspiracy” against Tehran amid tensions over its nuclear program.

    The comments by Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for 's civilian nuclear program, sought to portray any detection of uranium particles enriched to that level as a momentary side effect of trying to reach a finished product of 60% purity — which Tehran already has announced it is producing.

    However, uranium at 84% is nearly at weapons-grade levels of 90% — meaning any stockpile of that material could be quickly used to produce an atomic bomb if Iran chooses. Tehran has long insisted its program is for peaceful purposes, though the International Atomic Energy Agency, Western intelligence agencies and nonproliferation experts say Iran pursued a secret nuclear weapons program up until 2003.

    The allegation that inspectors found 84% enriched uranium threatens to further escalate tensions between Iran and the West. Already, Israel's recently reinstalled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened actions against Tehran. Meanwhile, Iran faced continued unrest Friday amid months of protests.

    Bloomberg first reported Sunday that inspectors had detected uranium particles enriched up to 84%. The IAEA, a United…

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