Iran Nuclear NewsIran raises its enriching capability

Iran raises its enriching capability

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ImageNew York Times: Iran said Wednesday its main uranium-enrichment plant was now equipped with 5,000 centrifuges — a sharp increase from the 4,000 it announced in August. machines that spin incredibly fast to enrich the element into nuclear fuel.

The New York Times

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: November 26, 2008

ImageTEHRAN — Iran said Wednesday its main uranium-enrichment plant was now equipped with 5,000 centrifuges — a sharp increase from the 4,000 it announced in August. machines that spin incredibly fast to enrich the element into nuclear fuel.

The announcement came amid growing international concern over Iran’s nuclear program, which it says is for energy production but the West fears is intended to produce weapons. Uranium, which can be used a fuel for a nuclear power plant, can serve in making bombs if enriched to high levels.

The United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend enrichment and has already passed three sets of sanctions against the country. The head of the United Nations nuclear agency, Mohammad ElBaradei, said in his latest report that because of a lack of cooperation from Iran had prevented progress on serious issues related to its nuclear program.. The Iranian official who announced the increase in centrifuges, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, head of the Atomic Organization, brushed off the demands that Iran suspend enriching uranium, saying “suspension has no meaning at all in Iran’s culture, and no such thing exists,” ISNA news agency quoted him as saying.

He spoke at Tehran University, at an exhibition showcasing Iranian nuclear achievements, where Iran for the first time put on public display one of its P-1 model centrifuges, The Associated Press reported.

In what appeared to be a display of its ballistic capability, Iran also said Wednesday that it had test-fired a rocket, called “Kavosh 2,” that was expected to transmit environmental data, state-run television reported. The name means “Explorer 2.”

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