Reuters: The head of the Iranian nuclear program said any attack on the country’s atomic facilities would not extinguish the knowledge gained by young Iranian scientists, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported. TEHRAN (Reuters) – The head of the Iranian nuclear program said any attack on the country’s atomic facilities would not extinguish the knowledge gained by young Iranian scientists, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported.
It also quoted Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief, as saying Iran had produced 270 tonnes of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas feedstock for the enrichment process, 20 tonnes more than previously announced.
The United States has accused Iran of seeking to master uranium enrichment technology so it can build bombs, a charge Iran denies saying it wants to make fuel for power plants.
Washington insists it wants diplomacy to end the standoff but has not ruled out military action if that fails.
“Now even if we imagine that they (the enemies) attack our facilities, the science of this technology is now in our young peoples’ brains. They cannot do anything in our young peoples’ brains,” Aghazadeh said.
He said Iran now had a “few thousand nuclear experts”.
“Even if they attack our facilities a chance would be provided for us to build our power plants more carefully and take more action to protect our power plants,” he added.
Iran is assembling new centrifuges to enrich uranium at an underground section of its Natanz site in the center of the country. It now operates about 350 centrifuges above ground at the site, which is surrounded by anti-aircraft guns.
“In the past 1-1/2 years, we have produced about 270 tonnes of UF6,” Aghazadeh said.
Previously, Iran has said it had stockpiled 250 tonnes of UF6. The International Institute for Strategic Studies said 250 tonnes was enough to produce between 30 and 50 nuclear weapons when enriched. UF6 is fed into linked cascades of centrifuges.
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia — plus Germany are discussing possible additional sanctions after Iran ignored a February 21 deadline to suspend enrichment.
Iran, one of the world’s largest oil producers, says it wants to make nuclear fuel to generate electricity and preserve its oil and gas for exports. Iran’s first nuclear power plant is still under construction.