Iran claims new generation of 15-times-faster centrifuges

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors (2nd and 3rd left) and Iranian technicians at Natanz nuclear power plant south of Tehran on January, 20, 2014 (Photo credit: Kazem Ghane/IRNA/AFP)
Iran’s nuclear chief declared that his country has developed a new generation of centrifuges 15 times more powerful than those currently being used to enrich uranium, and said it might resume enrichment to 60% if necessary. “We unveiled a new generation of centrifuges that surprised the Westerners,” said Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday. “This new machine is 15 times more powerful than the previous generation,” he claimed, according to Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB.  Salehi added that the development did not violate the November 24 Geneva interim agreement between Iran and six world powers that has imposed curbs on Tehran’s nuclear drive. “We successfully argued that this was allowed within the research and development article in the agreement,” Salehi said.  Talks between Iran and the six powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — on a long-term, “comprehensive” accord are due to start in Vienna on February 18. Ahead of them, Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs is to lead a delegation for talks with the chief US negotiator with Iran, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. More
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