MOSCOW - Iran will present a new advance in its atomic program on Wednesday by loading domestically made nuclear fuel into a research reactor in the capital Tehran, a senior Iranian official told a Russian news agency on Tuesday.
Russia's RIA news agency, in a story from Tehran, quoted Ali Bagheri as saying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would attend the event at a reactor which is running out of nuclear fuel originally provided by Argentina in the 1990s.
The move appeared designed to show that increased sanctions are failing to halt Iran's technical progress and to strengthen its hand in any renewed negotiations with the major powers.
Diplomats believe Iran has in the past sometimes overstated its nuclear achievements to gain leverage in its standoff with Western powers, which suspect Iran is seeking to develop the means to make atom bombs, a charge the country denies.
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