Iran will need more enriched uranium to fuel the "four or five" new research reactors it is planning on building, the country's nuclear chief said on Monday.
Fereidoun Abbasi told the semi-official ISNA news agency that Iran is planning to build the new research reactors "in the next few years" to produce medical radioisotopes for patients.
To fuel these reactors, Iran needs to continue enriching uranium to 20 percent _ something which alarms the West because the process could eventually be used to produce material for a nuclear weapon.
Abbasi, a 52-year-old professor of nuclear isotopes at Tehran's Defense Ministry, was appointed Iran's nuclear chief in February after he survived an assassination attempt in November. He was wounded in the bomb attack.
Tehran contends its nuclear program is intended only for a civilian power.
The United States and its allies suspect is seeking to build nuclear weapons, and the United Nations has laid down four rounds of sanction to force Iran to stop its enrichment program.