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Iran said on Saturday it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear program. "Based on the agreement with the West, we were supposed to have half of our 200 kilogram stock of uranium diluted and the other half converted to uranium oxide," Iran's atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Arabic-language Al Alam television channel. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 percent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfil the six-month deal has been delayed. Salehi, who heads the country's atomic energy organization, said the fast process of uranium conversion was expected to expedite the release of frozen Iranian assets in the West.
By Allyn Fisher-Ilan JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police refused to let the U.N.'s peace envoy to the Middle East, other diplomats and a crowd of Palestinians pass through a barricade to attend a pre-Easter ritual in the Jerusalem church that Christians revere as the burial site of Jesus, the U.N. official said on Saturday. The incident, following two days of violence at a separate holy site known as a flashpoint for Jews and Muslims, underscored rising tensions in the politically charged city ahead of Pope Francis's Holy Land visit next month. Israel dismissed the U.N. complaint, calling it an attempt to inflate a "micro-incident" and saying police at the barricade keep people back as a crowd-control measure while there was no reported violence among the tens of thousands of Christians who thronged to the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem's old walled city to witness the "Holy Fire" ritual. Robert Serry, the United Nation's peace envoy to the Middle East, said in a statement Israeli security officers had stopped a group of Palestinian worshippers and diplomats in a procession near the church, "claiming they had orders to that effect".