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Ahmadinejad: Iran will refine uranium to 20 percent

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran will enrich its uranium to a higher level in direct contravention to an international call to halt the process.

Ahmadinejad expressed frustration with negotiations over a U.N.-backed deal to swap Iran's low-enriched uranium for higher-enriched fuel rods to power its medical research reactor.

He told a crowd of thousands Wednesday in the southern city of Isfahan that Iran "will produce 20 percent" enriched uranium and "anything it needs" for its nuclear program.

The West fears Iran's enrichment program will produce the material for a nuclear bomb, a charge Iran denies.

The idea behind the swap deal was to keep Iran from having sufficient enriched uranium on hand to produce a weapon.

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