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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Feb 27th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Ahmadinejad steps up war of words with US over nuclear aims
Ahmadinejad steps up war of words with US over nuclear aims PDF Print E-mail
Written by Guardian, RFE/RL, Al-Bawaba   
Tuesday, 04 September 2007

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad speaking today in Tehran (AFP)
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad speaking today in Tehran (AFP)

Iran said yesterday an important goal had been reached in its quest for uranium enrichment, raising fears that it could have enough nuclear material for an atomic bomb within a year.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by state television as saying that despite UN economic sanctions, Iran had "taken another step in the nuclear progress and launched more than 3,000 centrifuge machines". The number of centrifuges - critical in building a nuclear bomb - is significantly higher than recent estimations by the International Atomic Energy Agency, leading to speculation that Iran may be exaggerating its capabilities for propaganda purposes.

Tehran said in April that it was operating 3,000 centrifuges but the IAEA found that only 328 centrifuges were active at the underground Natanz enrichment facility in central Iran. Last week inspectors said the enrichment programme had slowed and the country was now cooperating. Findings also suggested that Iran had produced only negligible amounts of nuclear fuel with its centrifuges, far below the level usable for nuclear warheads.

But yesterday's announcement looks set to fuel growing tensions with Washington and its EU allies. Last week President George Bush claimed that Iran's nuclear agenda would put the Middle East under the shadow of "nuclear holocaust".

Iran has faced economic sanctions and three UN resolutions for refusing to cooperate with IAEA inspectors and curtail its nuclear plans. Further sanctions are possible when the UN security council meets this month .

Western experts say 3,000 centrifuges running smoothly for long periods at supersonic speeds could make enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb in about a year.



Ahmadinejad Claims Iran Has 3,000 Centrifuges 
September 3, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says his country now has 3,000 centrifuges that are enriching uranium.

Ahmadinejad said that Iran has taken "another step in the nuclear progress and launched more than 3,000 centrifuge machines."

Speaking to a group of Iranian students on September 2, he claimed that a new centrifuge is being installed in Iran every week to enrich uranium.

Enriched uranium can be used both for power stations and nuclear warheads. The United States and some of its Western European allies suspect that Iran has been trying to develop nuclear weapons, an accusation that Tehran denies.

Ahmadinejad's claim contradicts an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that put the number of centrifuges at under 2,000.

In its report on August 30, the IAEA praised Iran's recent cooperation with the agency's probe of its nuclear sites as a "significant step forward" and said that enrichment has slowed down.

Are Sanctions Working?

The UN has already imposed two sets of sanctions, and the United States has called for a third set of tougher sanctions to be imposed if Iran does not stop enriching uranium.

Shannon Kile, a senior nonproliferation expert at the Stockholm International Peace Institute, says that the UN sanctions up to now -- targeting Iranian individuals and businesses involved in the country's nuclear and missile program -- have not been "painful to the Iranian economy."

"The idea has always been that there should be escalating series of sanctions over time to force Iranian compliance. As of [today] we see no indication that Iran is willing to obey the [UN] Security Council's demand that it halt the uranium-enrichment program," Kile says.

"If anything, Iran is intensifying its enrichment program. So it think at the moment, at least, that the Security Council resolution would probably be honored by -- basically in the breach -- that Iran has no intention of complying with them," Kile adds.

Ahmadinejad has said that Iran will continue its drive for nuclear development in spite of the sanctions.

Iranian news agencies quoted Ahmadinejad as saying the West thought Iran would give in to its demands with each resolution, but "after each resolution the Iranian nation presented another nuclear achievement."

There has not been any independent verification of Ahmadinejad's claim of having 3,000 centrifuges.



Ahmadinejad: Iran ready to offer nuclear technology
Posted: 03-09-2007 , 14:30 GMT
The Iranian nation is prepared to offer its nuclear achivements to other members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reaffirmed at the foreign ministerial NAM confernce being held in Tehran Monday.

Delivering the inaugural address at the conference, President Ahmadinejad lambasted some of the hegemonic powers for exerting pressure on the IAEA to deprive Iran of its legitimate nuclear rights. "The Iranian nation is ready to offer its nuclear achievements in the form of educational programs to the other IAEA members according to the Agency's regulations and under its supervision," Ahmadinejad stated.

The Iranian leader criticized some world powers for backing Israel's inhumane oppressions, adding "The Zionist regime is the example of state terrorism."

President Ahmadinejad blamed the occupiers for the insecurtiy of Iraq and said they use the instable condition as a justification for their presence in the country.

Ahmadinejad said the Islamic Republic of Iran considers its nuclear case as closed and noted that most countries have accepted Iran's rights to possess peaceful nuclear technology.

© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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