Iran Nuclear NewsIran talks up nuclear centrifuge work before suspension

Iran talks up nuclear centrifuge work before suspension

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AFP: Iran succeeded in building a “considerable” number of sophisticated centrifuges used for uranium enrichment before suspending the work under an agreement with the European Union in November, chief nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani said in comments published Saturday. “Today, the number of centrifuge machines manufactured and ready to function is considerable,” Rowhani told the conservative daily Kayhan without giving a number. AFP

TEHRAN – Iran succeeded in building a “considerable” number of sophisticated centrifuges used for uranium enrichment before suspending the work under an agreement with the European Union in November, chief nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani said in comments published Saturday.

“Today, the number of centrifuge machines manufactured and ready to function is considerable,” Rowhani told the conservative daily Kayhan without giving a number.

“Apparently, we have accepted the suspension of our activities for one year and nine months (since November 2003), but actually during this period we corrected many failures in our work.

“Until the Paris agreement (of November 2004), we continued to manufacture and assemble centrifuge machines,” he said.

“It is true that between February and June 2004, there was an interruption … but after June, we redoubled our efforts to compensate for wasted time.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency has identified Iran’s centrifuge work as one of its principal outstanding concerns as it investigates US-led accusations that the Islamic regime’s nuclear programme is a cover for weapons development.

The UN watchdog’s director Mohamed ElBaradei said last month that Iran had yet to provide “sufficient” information about how far it had got with the work, although the machines at a facility in the town of Natanz have been sealed by IAEA inspectors.

The Islamic regime suspended both its centrifuge work at Natanz and its conversion research in the central city of Isfahan as part of last year’s agreement with the European Union.

The EU big three of Britain, France and Germany have been holding talks with Iran on how it can provide long-term guarantees that its nuclear programme is purely civil in return for various incentives.

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