Friday, April 9, 2010
Ali Akbar Salehi, Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced on Friday that Iran had successfully tested its third generation centrifuges. The new 200 millimeter diameter tubes are ten times as powerful as the ones operating in the Natanz uranium enrichment plant and are capable of spinning 900 times per second and producing 10 kilograms of UF6 in a year. The announcement came at a ceremony celebrating Iranian nuclear power. In attendance were President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Joint Armed Forces Chief of Staffs Major General Hassan Firouzabadi and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili.
Despite Iran's claims that it's goals are for peaceful purposes only, Western powers, like the United States, remain alarmed at the nuclear program. This comes on the heels of an historic treaty signed by American president Barack Obama, who along with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, pledged a systematic disarmament and draw down of nuclear warheads to a total of 1500 for each country, and laid out guidelines for the use of the remaining warheads. These guidelines did not rule out the option of nuclear weapons being used against Iran. The two leaders also agreed on greater co-operation to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.
This has not dissuaded Iran. "If America makes a crazy move, its interests will be endangered by Iran's allies around the globe," said Ahmad Khatami, a cleric and member of Iran's powerful Assembly of Experts. While Iran speaks of its allies around the globe, the United States and other Western powers, are now seeking help from China and Russia to urge the UN to impose a fourth set of sanctions against Tehran.
== Sources ==
"Iran says new generation of centrifuges tested" — Press TV, April 9, 2010
"Iran unveils improved centrifuges" — Al Jazeera, April 9, 2010