Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the Atomic Energy Organization to start "enriching uranium."
"I [ask] Dr Salehi to start work on the production of 20 per cent fuel using centrifuges," Ahmadinejad said on Iran television Sunday.
Ahmadinejad also said he will "hand over an official letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency tomorrow, informing the agency that we will start making 20 per cent enriched fuel from Tuesday."
Robert Gates, US defense secretary said, "If the international community will stand together and bring pressure to bear on the Iranian government, I believe there is still time for sanctions and [diplomatic] pressure to work," in a statement Sunday.
According to BBC news reports, Ahmadinejad's move comes after an offer from Western world powers to have Iran trade their uranium for nuclear fuel out of fear that Iran will muscle out nuclear weapons with their uranium. Iran maintains a peaceful stance on nuclear fuel issues, however.
The P5+1 (a coalition of UN Security Council members, including the U.S.) made a proposal with the IAEA to Iran back in March 2009 in regards to fears surrounding nuclear ammunition being used in Iran's military. Iran declined the terms of the proposal.
Some analysts say Iran lacks the knowledge to construct nuclear fuel rods but the news coming from Iran about uranium enrichment could bump Iran to manufacture "weapons-grade material."
Finally, the Los Angeles Times reports the Coordinating Council of Reform Front, will have supporters hit the streets this Thursday to "call for a return to ideals and principles instead of jail, violence and confrontation with the nation" during Ahmadinejad's upcoming speech in Tehran's Azadi Square.