TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Fereidoon Abbasi, said Tuesday that Tehran will continue the enrichment of high-grade uranium as much as necessary, Press TV reported.
"The Islamic republic of Iran will produce 20-percent enriched uranium as long and as much as Tehran needs it," Abbasi was quoted as saying.
"The production of 20-percent enriched uranium for use in Tehran's (research) reactor is the Iranian nation's right and it will defend this right," he added.
"Twenty-percent enrichment is not an issue for the Westerners to agree or to oppose or even to seek a stance on," he said according to the report.
Iran and the world powers have held several rounds of talks to reach an agreement whereby the Islamic republic stops nuclear enrichment and shuts down its underground nuclear enrichment facilities, but Iran has insisted on its enrichment right as the signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The United States and its Western allies have accused Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear program, a charge Tehran has consistently denied.