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Iran issues conflicting signals on atomic centrifuges

Iran issues conflicting signals on atomic centrifuges

An Iranian nuclear official denied a statement by a Tehran parliamentarian on Saturday that the country had begun installing 3,000 new atomic centrifuges for uranium enrichment - a process that can make atomic bombs.
Hossein Simorgh, head of public affairs at Iran's Atomic Energy organization, was quoted by IRNA news agency as saying no such new devices had been fitted at its Natanz uranium enrichment facility.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee, had earlier been quoted as saying Iran had started installing the centrifuges, used to make fuel for power stations or material for atomic bombs.
"No new centrifuge machine has been installed in Natanz facility," said Simorgh, responding to Boroujerdi's comments.
The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran on December 23 and gave the Islamic Republic 60 days to suspend uranium enrichment.
Diplomats have said inspectors from the U.N. watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, had concluded Iran was ready to start installing the centrifuges. But they said timing the installation was likely to be a political decision.
Moderate politicians in Iran, particularly critics of anti-Western Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been counselling caution and possibly even suspending enrichment, until now a step opposed by Iran.
Ahmadinejad has been blamed by critics for exacerbating the standoff with the West by his fiery speeches, although the final say in nuclear policy and other matters of state lies with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's highest authority.


Updated : 2021-05-08 00:25 GMT+08:00