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Iran claims it has 3,000 advanced centrifuges

Country’s nuclear energy chief says Tehran will start phasing out old machinery to speed enrichment process

Illustrative. Centrifuges enriching uranium. (Public Domain/US Department of Energy/Wikimedia Commons)
Illustrative. Centrifuges enriching uranium. (Public Domain/US Department of Energy/Wikimedia Commons)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s nuclear chief says his country has produced more than 3,000 advanced centrifuges which are used to enrich uranium.

The semiofficial Fars news agency on Sunday quoted Fereidoun Abbasi as saying that the old generation of IR-1 centrifuges will be phased out soon. Iran has more than 12,000 IR-1 centrifuges enriching uranium at its main Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran.

Abbasi said last month that Iran has begun installing the newer IR-2 centrifuges, which can produce more enriched uranium in a shorter period of time. He says the production line of the new, advanced centrifuges has been completed, but he did not elaborate.

The US and its allies fear that Iran may eventually be able to develop a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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