TEHRAN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Deputy Mohammad Qannadi said on Sunday that Iran is ranked seventh among the countries producing Uranium Hexaflouride (UF6), Iran’s Official IRNA news agency reported.

“There is a factory to produce UF6 in Iran,” Qannadi told IRNA.

“UF6 gas plays a significant role in producing cycle of nuclear fuel which is used in Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and is also used in enrichment and production of nuclear reactors,” the report quoted him as saying.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, based on the Majlis (Parliament) and government approvals, is obliged to produce 10 percent of its energy needs that is 20,000 Megawatts from nuclear power plants in the near future,” he said, adding that “Producing 5,000 Megawatts of energy in the next five years is also on the agenda of the IAEO.

Iran’s controversial and highly sensitive nuclear issue has come in the spotlight for more than five years.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

In a recent report in September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran has shown a lack of cooperative sincerity with the international community in solving its nuclear issues, calling on the country to cooperate in this regard.

However, the IAEA also pointed out that Iran has still a long way to go before actually being able to develop atom bombs.