Iran to 'speed up' enrichment

How are those sanctions working out, Barry?


Iran says it is installing newer and faster centrifuges at its nuclear plants, with the goal of speeding up the uranium enrichment process.

The foreign ministry says the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, has "full supervision" of the operation.

The French government has condemned the move as a "new provocation".

France and other Western powers fear that Iran's nuclear programme is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its programme is for civilian use.

Enriched uranium can be used for civilian nuclear purposes, but also to build atomic bombs. Tehran insists that it is refining uranium for electricity generation and medical applications.

"By installing the new centrifuges progress is being made with more speed and better quality," said Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.

He said the move showed Iran's success in pursuing its "peaceful nuclear activity", but did not say where the new generation of centrifuges would be installed, or provide details on the speed or capability of the machines.

Iran has had a home-grown centrifuge capability for a while but if these machines are a qualitative leap as they are claiming, this is troublesome. It cuts down the time they can enrich the LEU or Low Enriched Uranium they have on hand into HEU or bomb grade uranium.

But then, the Iranians have had constant quality problems due to poor quality uranium and inexpert milling of the mineral to produce the raw material to enrich. But at each step, they have proven that they can overcome their problems and relentlessly pursue their goals.