Ahmadinejad: World powers approve of Iran having 6,000 centrifuges

Iran Materials 26 July 2008 18:08 (UTC +04:00)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed Saturday that the world powers have agreed that Iran could have up to 6000 centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear plant in the centre of the country, dpa reported.

State media quoted Ahmadinejad as saying the five United Nations veto powers plus Germany have said that the operation of 5000 to 6000 centrifuges would be "no problem" and basis for continuing nuclear talks.

According to Ahmadinejad, Iran last April started installation of 6,000 new centrifuges of which, he said Saturday, 5,000 have in the meantime become operational.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has so far confirmed that about 3,000 to 3,500 centrifuges were operational at the Natanz plant. Iranian claims of the number of centrifuges often do not match IAEA reports.

Centrifuges are used for enriching uranium and if the enrichment percentage is low, the uranium could be used merely for nuclear fuel, but at a higher percentage it could also be used - as feared by the West and denied by Tehran - to make an atomic bomb.