Iran: No problems with nuclear centrifuges

Iranian President Mahmoud AhmadinejadTehran - Iran said Friday that there were no technical problems with its newly installed centrifuges and denied Western press reports in this regard, official news agency IRNA reported.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed Tuesday that Iran has started installations 6,000 new centrifuges in its Natanz nuclear plant in central Iran, besides the already operating 3,000 centrifuges.

Western diplomats in Vienna however doubted that the new centrifuges would properly work.

"We have no technical problems with the centrifuges," deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Saeidi, told IRNA.

"Those countries still not acknowledging Iran's technical progress will eventually be forced to do so," Saeidi added.

On the occasion of the so-called "National Day of Nuclear Achievement" on Tuesday, Iran proclaimed start of installation of
6,000 new centrifuges which are, according to Saeidi, P1 and not the advanced and faster P2 centrifuges.

"We are however after improving the quality of our centrifuges," Saeidi said, referring to a plan of gradual replacement of the slower P1 with the faster P2 centrifuges which make the uranium enrichment process at least twice as fast.

President Ahmadinejad had said "new devices" would be tested and ready within three months. He claimed that the new devices would be "five times" as fast as the previous ones but gave no details.

Saeidi further said Iran would still welcome Western cooperation in the nuclear field, including construction of new nuclear power plants and uranium enrichment on Iranian soil.

Ahmadinejad on Wednesday rejected once again international demands from Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programmes and said no world power could stop Iran's nuclear drive.

Iran insists on pursuing its civil nuclear programme despite Western doubts on the peaceful nature of the projects and wants to install at least 54,000 enrichment centrifuges for achieving its own nuclear fuel cycle.