Iran to disclose new nuclear achievements on Tuesday

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali HosseiniTehran - Iran is to disclose new achievements in its nuclear programme on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said Monday in a press briefing in Tehran.

The foreign press is invited Tuesday to attend the so-called "National Day of Nuclear Achievement" which marks the first anniversary of Iran having achieved uranium enrichment on an industrial level.

The spokesman did not give any details and left it to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to reveal the new achievements on Tuesday evening in Tehran.

It is widely expected that Ahmadinejad will announce the installation and operation of 300 further centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear plant in central Iran. The new centrifuges are said to be of the F2 kind which have a higher enrichment speed that the previously used F1 centrifuges.

Iran reportedly 3,000 centrifuges but needs at least 50,000 to provide the necessary fuel for its nuclear power plants in the future.

Spokesman Hosseini once again rejected the main Western demand which is suspension of uranium enrichment and said that even Western incentives would not change the Iranian position.

He called on the West to instead respect the rights of other nations, including Iran, to pursue civil nuclear technology in line with regulations within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The spokesman said that there have been no new contacts between European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili, adding that any new talks should primarily be based on acknowledging Iran's nuclear rights.

The last meeting between Solana and Jalili was held in November in London but ended without any tangible results.

Following the third United Nations Security Council resolution against Iran last March, President Ahmadinejad ordered a stop to nuclear negotiations with the EU.

While Iran insists that its nuclear programmes are peaceful, the Western world fears that Iran is working on a secret military programme.

Tehran has so far categorically denied the charges and has referred to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the only authorised body to judge in the dispute. (dpa)