August 29, 2013 | Quote
IAEA: Iran Testing 1,000 New Advanced Centrifuges
Iran is on course to test around 1,000 new advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges, renewing concerns that Tehran is quietly marching toward a nuclear weapon as the West turns its eye to Syria, according to a report released Wednesday by the United Nations’ top nuclear watchdog.
Tehran has not slowed down its nuclear pursuit, but has been careful about crossing so called “red lines” established by Israel and other Western nations, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) most recent report.
The IAEA confirmed reports that Iran has begun installing more than 1,000 IR-2m centrifuges, which are more modern and quicker than older models used at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant.
Emanuele Ottolenghi, an expert on Iran and energy issues with Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the IAEA’s report “offers no basis for optimism.”
“In particular, it is clear that Iran’s ability to enrich remains constant even while it is introducing new generation carbon-fiber based centrifuges at its enrichment facilities,” Ottolenghi told the Free Beacon.
The advanced centrifuges will likely allow “Iran to rapidly increase its enrichment rate,” he said.
“More worryingly,” Ottolenghi said, is that “Iran continues to stall on the suspected military dimensions of its program and its obligations to prove its compliance with [Non-proliferation Treaty] obligations through transparency.”
Ottolenghi also cast doubt on the notion that Rowhani’s election would signal a sea change in Tehran.
“Any glimmer of hope that a new government in Tehran could somehow signal a new era of moderation in the nuclear realm is undermined by the depressing evidence that continues to emerge in the IAEA’s quarterly reports,” he said.