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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran proceeds with its plan to launch 3,000 centrifuges by March

RIA Novosti

15/01/2007 13:00 TEHRAN, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - Iran is continuing to install some 3,000 centrifuges, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding that the Islamic country stop uranium enrichment work, a spokesman for the government said Monday.

On December 23, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution against Iran for refusing to suspend its nuclear research program. The resolution stipulates that all countries must stop supplying Iran with nuclear technology and materials that could enable the Islamic Republic to proceed with its suspected atomic weapons program.

"We are moving toward the production of nuclear fuel, and we need 3,000 or more centrifuges for uranium enrichment to achieve that goal," Gholam Hossein Elham said.

Iran launched a second experimental chain of 164 centrifuges at its pilot nuclear facility at Natanz in October, and said it will have a total of 3,000 centrifuges there by next March. The long-term target is 60,000, enough to advance to industrial-scale enrichment.

"All nuclear activities in Iran are conducted under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We are moving toward our goal and if they [the West] try to lay obstacles for us, then we will overcome them," Elham said.

Iran has been at the center of international concerns over its nuclear program, which some countries suspect is a covert program to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran has consistently denied the claims, and says it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes.

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