Iran unveils three new achievements of its nuclear program - UPDATE 2

Iran unveils three new achievements of its nuclear program - UPDATE 2

(First version posted at 16:30)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 15 /Trend S. Isayev, T. Jafarov/

Iran has unveiled three new achievements of its nuclear program at the official ceremony today in Tehran, PRESS TV channel reported live.

The ceremony is taking place Tehran's Nuclear Facility in Amirabad, in presense of country's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and other government officials, as well as nuclear scientists and journalists.

At the beginning of the ceremony, congratulations were spread to the scientists who contributed to the development of country's nuclear program, and those who were killed as a result of terror attacks.

According to Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Abbasi, the three new achievements of country's nuclear program are: the increased number of centrifuges, production of new IR-4 generation centrifuges and successful loading of domestically-made fuel rods into the nuclear reactor.

Unlike centrifuges of previous generations (IR-1, IR-2, IR-3), the IR-4 centrifuges have higher speed and production capacity. the centrifuges were unveiled in the Natanz nuclear plant.

The natural uranium containing rod has been delivered to Tehran research reactor after testing. The fuel rod has already been exposed to 1500 MWH of radiation and has been successful in neutron tests concerning radioactive levels or leakage. The rod is currently under exposure to more radiation to test its endurance qualities. IRI experts have already supplied the country with its needed radio isotopes immorally sanctioned by the West.

Earlier, Deputy Chief of Iran's national security council Ali Bagheri said that "because Western countries were unwilling to help us, we began enriching uranium to 20 percent to make nuclear fuel rods".

IRIB news reported in January that experts in Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) managed to build and test a first-ever nuclear rod in the country. The results of the test have not been announced.

Iran says its nuclear program is confined to production of peaceful atomic energy which it says is a fundamental right of any country. Western nations and Israel have charged that Tehran is secretly working to build nuclear weapons - an assertion Iran vehemently denies.

Tensions in the region over Iran's nuclear activities have been on the rise in recent months as speculation has mounted that Israel may be preparing for a strike on Iranian facilities that the Jewish state says constitute a threat to its national security.

Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian officials have said they are prepared to return to international talks about their nuclear program provided Iran is treated with respect.

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