Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Iran to unveil new uranium centrifuges, state TV says

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks near the Azadi (freedom) tower at a rally to mark the 33rd anniversary of Iran's revolution (Feb. 11, 2012)  
President Ahmadinejad has said that Iran would never halt its programme to enrich uranium
Iran is to unveil a "new generation" of faster, more efficient uranium enrichment centrifuges, state television says.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to make an announcement on Iran's nuclear programme later.

Western countries fear that Iran is working towards making its own nuclear weapons.
Tehran denies this, saying its nuclear programme is only for energy production.

President Ahmadinejad said last week that his country would be announcing "great" nuclear achievements.

He said that Iran would never halt its programme to enrich uranium.

In January the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran had started the production of uranium enriched up to 20% at its Qom plant.

Home-grown industry
Iran will also load its own domestically made nuclear fuel rods into the Tehran Research Reactor for the first time, senior national security official Ali Baqeri said.
A deal to provide fuel for the reactor from abroad collapsed two years ago - at which point Iran decided to make the fuel itself.

One central point links these developments, says the BBC's Iran correspondent James Reynolds: Iran is determined to show that it can master nuclear technology on its own, and that international sanctions against its nuclear programme will make no difference.

The US and the European Union have recently imposed new sanctions targeting Iranian oil sales as part of a drive to increase international pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.

Talks between Iran and six world powers - the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China - on the nuclear programme collapsed a year ago and show little sign of resuming.
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