AEOI Chief: Iran Working on New Generation of Centrifuges

AEOI Chief: Iran Working on New Generation of Centrifuges

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran is working on the development of a new generation of centrifuges, the country's top nuclear official said, adding that tests on the new machines have not been done.

“A new generation of centrifuges is being built, but they should undergo all tests before mass production,” Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Thursday.

He added that Iran possesses some 19,000 of different types of centrifuges.

Highlighting Iran’s impressive achievements in the field of nuclear technology, Salehi said the Islamic Republic in now among the countries with the capability to carry out “all fuel (production) stages from exploration to ore dressing and production of uranium fuel.”

In a recent development, Iran allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear sites. The move is believed to be the first concrete step under a cooperation agreement signed in November between the Vienna-based UN agency and Iran to dispel concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program.

Under the IAEA Safeguards Agreement, Iran is not obliged to allow such inspections but Tehran has, on a voluntary basis, agreed to allow the agency's inspectors access to the Arak facility as well as the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.

Furthermore, Yukiya Amano, director-general of the IAEA, had announced earlier that his organization was looking into how the agreement between Iran and six world powers to restrict Tehran’s nuclear activity during the six-month framework could be “put into practice”, given the UN agency’s role in verifying the deal.

The IAEA plans to expand its monitoring of Iran’s uranium enrichment sites and other facilities under the interim accord, reached after marathon talks between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, on November 24. Iran has agreed to limit uranium enrichment and allow for more inspection of its enrichment and other related facilities in exchange for minor relief from UN and western sanctions.

Tehran has also agreed to the most intrusive inspection and monitoring regime ever imposed on a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), as it will allow the IAEA to inspect daily its facilities in Natanz and Fordow. For the first time, the country would also allow inspection and monitoring of its centrifuge manufacturing facilities and its uranium mines and mills.

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