Iran said Wednesday that it has begun installing a new generation of centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment facility, a move that will allow it to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment in defiance of U.N. calls to halt such activities.
Vice President Fereidoun Abbasi told the official IRNA news agency that the machines will only produce low-level enriched uranium, which is used to make nuclear fuel, but high-level enrichment makes it suitable for use in the core of a nuclear weapon.
Abbasi said Iranian nuclear scientists began installing the advanced centrifuges at Natanz about a month ago.
“We’ve produced enough of these machines and are installing and starting them up gradually,” Abbasi said.
The announcement coincided with a new round of talks Wednesday with senior International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors over allegations thatTehran might have carried out tests on triggers for atomic weapons. It also could affect negotiations planned later this month between Iran and six world powers.
Iran has more than 10,000 centrifuges that are enriching uranium at Natanz, 225 kilometers (140 miles) southeast of Tehran. But the machines are of the old IR-1 type. Iran told the IAEA last month that it intended to install newer IR-2 centrifuges, machines that can produce more enriched uranium at a shorter period of time.
“The centrifuges installed at Natanz are first-generation machines based on old technology,” the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Abbasi as saying. “We were able to produce composite materials. … We built centrifuge rotors from those materials which make the machines more durable. The new generation of centrifuges is more efficient.”
Abbasi said Iran would use the new machines to produce 5 percent level enriched uranium.
The visit by the U.N. team, led by Herman Nackaerts, comes a day after Tehran raised prospects that the International Atomic Energy Agency could be allowed to inspect Parchin, a military site where the agency suspects nuclear-related experiments were conducted.
But Abbasi said no such visit was on the negotiating table.
“Parchin is not a nuclear site. We’ve said this repeatedly. There is no word about visiting Parchin or any other site,” he said.
Iran says the agency’s suspicions are based on forged intelligence provided by the CIA, the Israeli Mossad, Britain’s MI-6 and other intelligence agencies.
“Removing ambiguities requires evidence. If the agency has any documents related to ambiguities about Parchin, it is necessary that they give it to us,” IRNA quoted Abbasi as saying.
Iranian officials say they have bitter memories of permitting IAEA inspections at Parchin in the past, and replying to a long list of queries over its nuclear program. Tehran says any new agency investigation must be governed by an agreement that lays out the scope of such a probe.
Iran says it cannot allow its security to be compromised by allowing the IAEA access to non-nuclear facilities on the basis of suspicions raised by foreign intelligence agencies that Tehran considers enemies. Abbasi also criticized the IAEA for leaking information on Iran’s nuclear program.
Source: Inside of Iran
Jun 17, 2019 Comments Off on Israel urges snapback sanctions on Iran if it breaches uranium limit
Jun 14, 2019 Comments Off on Khameini: ‘America Could Not Do Anything’ to Stop Iran from Developing Nuclear Weapons
Jun 12, 2019 Comments Off on US imposes new IRGC-linked sanctions on Iran
Jun 11, 2019 Comments Off on Iran has accelerated enrichment of uranium, says UN watchdog
Jun 17, 2019 Comments Off on Israel urges snapback sanctions on Iran if it breaches uranium limitIsrael urges snapback sanctions on Iran if it breaches uranium limit Israel urges snapback sanctions on Iran if it breaches uranium limit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world powers on Monday to step up...
Jun 17, 2019 Comments Off on Pentagon accuses Iran of shooting missiles at U.S. dronesPentagon accuses Iran of shooting missiles at U.S. drones Pentagon accuses Iran of shooting missiles at U.S. drones The Pentagon on Sunday accused Iran of attempting to shoot down a U.S. Reaper drone on June 13 as the...
Mar 27, 2019 Comments Off on U.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary GuardsU.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary Guards U.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary Guards The United States on Tuesday imposed fresh sanctions on a network of companies and people in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates it...