Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Monday that Iran has so far produced nearly 70 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium.Iran should convert 20 percent enriched uranium into fuel plates to feed the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment, MNA quoted Salehi as saying. He said that Iran will start to produce plates of nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor in the next few months. Iran has constructed a plant at the Isfahan nuclear facility for manufacturing nuclear fuel plates. Salehi announced that Tehran will inaugurate a new unit in the next three months to produce plate fuel for the country's nuclear research reactors which produce radioisotopes for medical uses. In June, Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh said that Iran produced over 50 kg 20 percent enriched uranium till then. Talking to Xinhua on the sidelines of an international nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran, Soltaniyeh said that "we need 120 kg enrichment up to 20 percent ... for Tehran reactor." Referring to Iran's letter to the IAEA sent three years ago through which Iran called for receiving 20 percent enriched fuel, Salehi said Monday that the agency refused to accept Iran's offer then and the country had to start fuel enrichment on its own. Salehi said despite foreigners' claim that Iran was not capable of enriching uranium to the level of 20 percent purity, Iran managed to carry it out in a week following the order issued by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In February 2010, Salehi, the then head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced that Iran began to produce 20 percent enriched uranium at its Natanz nuclear enrichment site. In August, Fereidoon Abbasi, current head of the AEOI, said that the Islamic Republic has started transferring the nuclear enrichment centrifuges of its Natanz nuclear facility to the Fordo atomic site. In June, Abbasi said that Iran is going to install new generation of centrifuges in its uranium enrichment sites and will increase its 20-percent uranium enrichment output by three times. He also said that in the current Iranian year ending on March 20, the enrichment of uranium to the level of 20 percent will be transferred from Natanz site to Fordo site in the central province of Qom under the supervision of the IAEA. Iran will triple the 20-percent uranium enrichment output after the enrichment process is moved to Fordo, the Iranian nuclear chief said. After western suppliers shrugged off Iran's request for the supply of nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the AEOI to provide and install the necessary equipments to start enriching uranium to the purity level of 20% to feed the research reactor which produces radioisotopes for medicinal use. The country on February 2, 2010, started injecting gas into a cascade of centrifuges to enrich uranium to the purity level of 20% to supply fuel for its research reactor, all under the supervision of the IAEA inspectors. After Iran announced to the IAEA that it had run out of nuclear fuel for its research reactor in Tehran, the Agency proposed a deal according to which Iran would send 3.5%-enriched uranium and receive 20%-enriched uranium from potential suppliers in return, all through the UN nuclear watchdog agency. The proposal was first introduced on October 1, 2010, when Iranian representatives and diplomats from the Group 5+1 held high-level talks in Geneva. But France and the United States, as potentials suppliers, stalled the talks soon after the start. They offered a deal which would keep Tehran waiting for months before it can obtain the fuel, a luxury of time that Iran cannot afford as it is about to run out of 20-percent-enriched uranium. Iranian lawmakers rejected the deal after technical studies showed that it would only take two to three months for any country to further enrich the nuclear stockpile and turn it into metal nuclear rods for the Tehran Research Reactor, while suppliers had announced that they would not return fuel to Iran any less than seven months. Iran then put forward its own proposal that envisaged a two-staged exchange. According to Tehran's offer, the IAEA safeguards nearly one third of Iran's uranium stockpile inside the Iranian territory for the time that it takes to find a supplier. The western countries opposed Tehran's proposal. After West's opposition to Iran's proposal, Iranian, Brazilian and Turkish officials on May 17, 2010, signed an agreement named the 'Tehran Declaration' which presented a solution to a longstanding standoff between Iran and potential suppliers of nuclear fuel. According to the agreement, Iran would send some 1200 kg of its 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total 120 kg of 20% enriched fuel. But again the western countries showed a negative and surprising reaction to the Tehran Declaration and sponsored a sanctions resolution against Iran at the UN Security Council instead of taking the opportunity presented by the agreement. Russia, France, and the US, in three separate letters, instead of giving a definite response to the Tehran Declaration, raised some questions about the deal, and the US took a draft sanctions resolution against Iran to the UN Security Council, which was later approved by the Council. Iran in a letter responded to the questions raised by the Vienna Group on the Tehran Declaration and voiced its preparedness to hold talks. In a later move, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano proposed a plan to resume talks between the two sides, and Iran's foreign minister announced Tehran's agreement with Amano's proposal. "Iran is ready to take part in the meeting brokered by Amano," the then Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said. Yet, the western suppliers postponed the meeting, making it unclear if they would ever start considering Iran's request seriously. Accordingly, Iran announced that it would continue domestic enrichment plans to supply fuel for its reactor as it would never allow the western powers to play games or trample upon its rights in exchange for nuclear fuel.