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Iran currently has over 15,000 operating centrifuges that work to produce medium-enriched uranium, a product that Western powers fear will be used to create nuclear weapons, and the reason for the numerous sanctions put in place in an attempt to rob the Iranian economy of revenues that could be used for further nuclear research. Iran has always claimed it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and that the enriched uranium will only be used for peaceful purposes.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has just released a new quarterly report which states that Iran has recently installed 1,000 advanced uranium enriching centrifuges, and is now about to test them for the first time.
The advanced centrifuges recently installed in an Iranian uranium enrichment facility. (RFERL)
These new centrifuges are three or four times more powerful and efficient at producing medium-enriched uranium, than the existing centrifuges. Hopeful that Iran was finally ready to open up more about its nuclear program and begin working towards an overall solution to the conflict, the West now fears that these new centrifuges are just further proof of Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions.
According to the report Iran has also begun plans for a heavy-water nuclear reactor that would produce plutonium, another important material used to create nuclear weapons.
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Having said that the IAEA mentioned in their report that the stockpiles of medium-enriched uranium have grown little over the last few months, as most of the product produced has been used as reactor fuel.
The IAEA also announced that the next round of talks with Iran to discuss the country’s nuclear program will be held on the 27th of September, and will be the first set of talks to be held since the election of President Hassan Rouhani in June.
Rouhani was previously a nuclear negotiator himself, and has stated that he will offer more transparency, and a better attitude, more intent on finding a common solution. This report deals with activities that took place before Rouhani came to power.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com