Iran Says It Is Now Running 3,000 Uranium Centrifuges

( AP ) - Iran's president said Sunday that his country is now running 3,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium for its nuclear program, reaching a goal that could spur efforts to impose new U.N. sanctions on the Islamic republic.

The announcement appeared at odds with a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog Thursday that put the number closer to 2,000. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that enrichment had slowed and that Iran was cooperating with its nuclear probe, which could fend off calls for a third round of sanctions.

"The West thought the Iranian nation would give in after just a resolution, but now we have taken another step in the nuclear progress and launched more than 3,000 centrifuge machines, installing a new cascade every week," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in remarks posted on the state television Web site.

Iran had announced in April that it was operating 3,000 centrifuges, but the IAEA said at the time that only 328 centrifuges were running at the underground Natanz enrichment facility in central Iran.

In the latest report, drawn up by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, the organization said that close to 2,000 centrifuges were now enriching uranium at Natanz, with another 650 being tested.

The figure of 2,000 represents a jump of several hundred since May, when the IAEA last reported on Iran. Still, the rate of expansion is much slower than a few months ago, when the country was assembling about 200 centrifuges every two weeks.

"The recent report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agrees with Iran's approach and the dispute over Iran's nuclear case has ended," Ahmadinejad said. The IAEA report noted an increased willingness by the Iranians to answer questions after years of stonewalling and was seen as likely to check the push for new sanctions.

The U.N. Security Council has passed two sets of sanctions targeting Iranian individuals and businesses involved in the country's nuclear and missile programs. The resolutions also ordered countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology for those programs.

U.N. officials have suggested that Iran slowed its program and increased its cooperation with the agency's investigators to avert the new sanctions. The report said Iran was continuing to produce negligible amounts of nuclear fuel, far below the level needed for nuclear warheads.

Ahmadinejad's announcement Sunday appeared to mark a shift away from that strategy.

Iran has said that its goal for the Natanz facility, the only site now open to full monitoring by the IAEA, is to run 54,000 centrifuges, enough for dozens of nuclear weapons a year.

Uranium gas, spun in linked centrifuges, can result in either low-enriched fuel suitable for generating power or the weapons-grade material that forms the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

U.S. officials accuse Iran of secretly trying to develop atomic weapons. But Iran insists it wants to master the technology only to meet future power needs and argues that it is entitled to enrich under a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty provision giving all pact members the right to develop programs for peaceful purposes.

Also, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday named Mohammed Ali Jafari as the head of the elite Revolutionary Guard Corps. The United States has said the corps is responsible for terrorist acts as well as violence against U.S. forces in Iraq.

Azerbaijan’s state interests on Azerbaijani-Armenian border  protected at highest level
Azerbaijan’s state interests on Azerbaijani-Armenian border protected at highest level
President Ilham Aliyev makes Facebook post on International Women's Day
President Ilham Aliyev makes Facebook post on International Women's Day
Azerbaijan shows footage from Aghdam's Suma village (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan shows footage from Aghdam's Suma village (VIDEO)
Loading Bars
Latest
JP Morgan says OPEC to boost supply in 2021
OPEC crude output to exceed 30 mbpd in 2022 – JP Morgan
Uzbekistan, India talk mutual phytosanitary permits for agricultural products
Turkmenistan exceeds plan for transport, communication sector
Weekly review of Azerbaijani oil market
Nepal PM Oli receives first jab of Indian-made COVID-19 vaccine
Iran's economic development declines
IAM Construction LLC to reconstruct facility in Azerbaijan’s Seaside Park
Azerbaijan’s state interests on Azerbaijani-Armenian border protected at highest level
China's focus on annual GDP targets gives greater policy flexibility
Iran's CBI reveals amount of loans issued in Iran's trade sector
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange on the rise
Iran kicks off development of Ramin oil field in Khuzestan Province
Iran reveals amount of loans issued in housing and construction sector
Iranian currency rates for March 8
Iranian banks issue big loans to agricultural sector
Iran boosts development of Zilayi oil field
Iran boosts exports via Zanjan Province
Iran's exports to Azerbaijan not on high enough level - Ali Jahangiri
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan enters top five most transparent sovereign wealth funds
Large-amount loans issued in Iran's services sector
Excavations at Iran's South Pars gas field continue
Significant work done on water and electricity sectors in Iran – minister
Azerbaijan’s Buta Airways low-cost airline to resume flights from Baku to Ukraine’s Kyiv
Iran implements plan to maintain, increase extraction from several oil fields
Turkmenistan sees increase in trade turnover volumes
Japan government spokesman says timing of Biden-Suga meeting undecided
Exports to Iraq via Mehran crossing top $460m
Kazakhstan’s daily COVID-19 case count stands at 653
Weekly review of Azerbaijani ICT sector highlights
GE nears deal to combine aircraft-leasing unit with AerCap
Reopening schools a "national effort" to beat coronavirus - UK PM
Iran to construct new seaport making it largest in country
France ramps up weekend COVID-19 vaccinations after slow start
U.S. administers 90.35 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines
Swiss agree to outlaw facial coverings in 'burqa ban' vote
UK reports 82 new COVID-19 deaths
White House cites 'active threat,' urges action despite Microsoft patch
Iran's South Pars Gas Company declares gas production volumes
President Ilham Aliyev makes Facebook post on International Women's Day
4 terrorists killed in security forces operations in NW Pakistan
Turkey registers more than 11 180 new coronavirus cases
Iran’s CBI unveils amount of loans issued by banks
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to auction off interest-bearing bonds
Iran to launch several facilities under city municipalities
Azerbaijan together with McKinsey improving railway sector
Turkmenistan's State Development Bank opens tender for IFRS 9 standard implementation
FIA updates schedule of Formula 1 weekends
Amount of loans issued in Iran's industrial and mining sectors announced
Israel's forex reserves hit record 185.09 bln USD
Review of main events of Azerbaijani financial market for first week of March
Turkey goes zero waste in agriculture
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on March 8
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
Uzbekistan takes additional measures to support livestock industries
Iran’s CBI shares report on open market operations
Geostat reveals volume of meat production in Georgia
Reopening schools a "national effort" to beat coronavirus: UK PM
Jordan's PM reshuffles cabinet to accelerate reforms
Turkmenistan's oil refining volumes exceed plan
Kazakhstan increases imports from Hungary in 2020
Iran's interbank interest rate decrease
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Indonesia reports 5,826 new COVID-19 cases, 112 more deaths
7 killed, 3 missing in floods in northern Algeria
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 7
Azerbaijan shows footage from Aghdam's Suma village (VIDEO)
COVID cases up in Turkey’s 3 biggest cities as east enjoys calm
Turkmenistan reveals indicators of construction, industrial sector
Iran launches new projects in Hormozgan Province
Azerbaijan's Mortgage & Credit Guarantee Fund signs tender contract
Russia’s confirmed coronavirus cases grow by 10,595 in past day to 4,322,776
Azerbaijan confirms 127 more COVID-19 recoveries
Bitcoin rises 4.2% to $50,947.94
Georgia reports 234 coronavirus cases, 349 recoveries, 9 deaths
Uzbekneftegaz stabilizes pressure at gas pipelines of Mubarek oil & gas dep’t
Prices on Azerbaijani oil continue to rise
Khazar Consortium opens tender for purchase of steam field unit
Iran to manufacture new wagons and locomotives
Saudi-led coalition destroys 10 Houthi drones
Document on providing all countries with vaccine against COVID-19 adopted under Azerbaijan’s chairmanship in NAM
8 police, 5 militants killed during clashes in N. Afghanistan
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on March 7
Azerbaijan shows footage from Fuzuli's Garakollu village (VIDEO)
Weekly review of major developments in Azerbaijan's transport sector
S. Korea reports 416 more COVID-19 cases, 92,471 in total
Health Minister: Only WHO approved vaccine to be imported
Turkey records dropping revenues from cement export to Georgia
Iran's customs releases more imported commodities
Turkmenistan shares data on GDP growth rate
New hazelnut processing plant to open in Azerbaijan’s Zagatala
New Zealand's Auckland emerges from lockdown, Australia starts AstraZeneca vaccinations
China exports jump 60.6% y/y in January-February, imports up 22.2%
Brazil registers 1,555 deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours
Iran's trade, economic, political relations with neighboring countries to be developed
Ebola infects 29 people, kills 13 in Guinea, DRC: Africa CDC
UN chief condemns terrorist attack in Somalia
Paraguay’s president asks all ministers to resign amid protest rallies
Weekly review of highlights in Azerbaijan's agricultural sector
All news