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Barak: Iran Embellishing Nuclear Gains

Barak: Iran is "presenting a situation better than what it really is."
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/16/2012, 1:18 PM

Iranian President Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Ahmadinejad
Flash90

Iran said Wednesday that it is considerably closer to mastering the production of nuclear fuel.

In a live TV broadcast, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was shown “overseeing what was described as the first Iranian-made fuel rod inserted into a research reactor in northern Tehran. Separately, the semiofficial Fars agency reported a "new generation" of Iranian centrifuges — used to enrich uranium toward nuclear fuel — had gone into operation at the country's main enrichment facility at Natanz in central Iran,” the Associate Press (AP) reported.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak disregarded this display calling it “a show” and said that while Iran's latest claims of advancements in its nuclear program is exaggerated, its nuclear pursuits still remain a threat.  

He told Israel Radio today that the Iranians are "presenting a situation as better than what it really is."

Yet, the official IRNA news agency said Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, told European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that Iran is also ready to return to talks with the U.S. and other world powers.

“The dual strategy — taking nuclear steps while proposing more talks — has become a hallmark of Iran's dealings for years and some critics have dismissed it as a time-buying tactic,” the AP explained.

White House press secretary Jay Carney also said Iran's "defiant acts" attempt to "distract attention" from the damage brought on by international sanctions.