Iran says installing new nuclear centrifuges

Iran says installing new nuclear centrifuges
# 19 July 2011 18:56 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Iran is installing new centrifuges to enrich uranium as part of its efforts to speed up its nuclear program, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, in an announcement likely to alarm Western powers, APA reports quoting Reuters.
France, which has taken a hardline stance on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, condemned the move as a "clear provocation."
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast appeared to confirm a Reuters story last week that Iran was installing two more advanced models of the centrifuges used to refine uranium for large-scale testing at a research site.
If Iran eventually succeeds in introducing the more modern centrifuges for production, it could significantly shorten the time needed to stockpile material which can have civilian as well as military purposes, if processed much further.
"By installing the new centrifuges progress is being made with more speed and better quality," Mehmanparast said, adding the move showed Iran was being successful in its "peaceful nuclear activity."
France said the announcement undermined arguments the Iranian nuclear program was aimed at boosting energy production for peaceful purposes.
"(It) clearly confirms the suspicions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and of the international community about the finality of a program with no credible civilian application," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Iran said it had notified the U.N. nuclear watchdog about the installment of new centrifuges.
"The agency is aware that our peaceful nuclear activities are progressing ... the installment is a confirmation of the Islamic Republic’s success in the nuclear field," he said.