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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran develops 'new generation' uranium enrichment centrifuge

RIA Novosti

15:34 22/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has developed a new generation centrifuge for enriching uranium, the state IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Iranian Vice-President Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the country's Atomic Energy Organization, said Iranian specialists are currently "increasing the size" of the new centrifuges.

"Iranian scientists have made new generation centrifuges that are currently undergoing necessary tests," IRNA quoted Salehi as saying.

According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the end of August, the Islamic Republic increased the number of centrifuges at its uranium enriching plant in Natanz to 8,300 from 7,000 reported in June.

Iranian authorities have said the country needs 50,000 centrifuges in order to supply low-enriched uranium for its future nuclear power plants.

Iran has been under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, used in both electricity generation and weapons production. Tehran has repeatedly rejected the demand, insisting it is pursuing a purely civilian program. Several Western powers have called for harsher sanctions against Tehran if it does not agree to halt uranium enrichment.

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