AEOI chief: Iran not to inject UF6 gas into IR8 centrifuges until end of N. talks

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi underlined Tehran’s commitment to the contents of the Geneva agreement, and said the country will not inject UF6 gas into its newly-developed IR8 centrifuges any sooner than the end of its nuclear talks with the world powers.

“At present, we have the second generation of centrifuges and 1,000 of them have been installed and just a pilot 164-centrifuge cascade is in operation,” Salehi told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.

The pilot cascade of centrifuges that Salehi pointed to had been installed and started operation before the Geneva interim deal between Iran and the six world powers was struck.

Yet, he reminded that Iran has also developed IR4, IR6 and IR8 generations of more efficient centrifuges, and said, “But we haven’t injected gas into IR8 centrifuges and we have voluntarily decided not to inject gas into these centrifuges; of course the mechanical tests are being carried out.”

“And we do not intend to inject active UF6 gas into these centrifuges as long as the negotiations are underway,” Salehi underlined.

Asked about the proposals made to Iran by the opposite parties in the talks for producing nuclear fuel outside the country, he said, “Had we wanted to produce fuel in another country, we would have done that already; but the point is that we have decided to carry out the entire process of fuel production cycle on the Islamic Republic’s soil and do it in Iran.”

Elsewhere, Salehi referred to the nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany), and said, “There is still a good chance for reaching the comprehensive nuclear agreement.”

Salehi’s remarks came after some western media reports claimed that Iran has injected gas into its new generation of centrifuge machines and violated the terms of the Geneva interim deal.

Meantime, some other western media reports had earlier this month claimed that Iran had stopped its R&D tests.

Iran has repeatedly stressed that it is committed to the contents of its agreement with the sextet. The interim agreement allows continued nuclear research and development, but demands that no new or more centrifuge machines be installed or come into operation at Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, a source close to the Iranian team of nuclear negotiators rejected allegations about Iran’s hold on testing new centrifuge machines, stressing that the country continues its Research and Development activities in the field, although that does not mean injecting gas into new centrifuge machines.

In comments made to FNA about the western media reports that Iran had stopped tests on the new generation of centrifuge machines, the source said, “This is not true at all and the trend of R&D on enrichment is moving along its natural track at the AEOI.”

The source also said that producing fuel plates from uranium oxide is being carried out based on the AEOI’s plans, but meantime mentioned that the amount of fuel production from uranium oxide will decrease in the coming months.

Salehi himself had also stressed in remarks on April 10 that Tehran would continue its nuclear research and development activities based on the November Geneva deal inked with the world powers.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not abandon its rights in accordance with the NPT, and will by no means breach its terms and conditions,” he said.

“Iran will also in accordance with the Geneva agreement continue its activities in all nuclear research and development fields,” Salehi added.

Also on April 9, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei stressed Iran’s determination to continue talks with the world powers, but meantime, underlined that the country won’t halt its nuclear research and development programs.

“(Iran’s) Agreement with the negotiations was aimed at breaking the hostile atmosphere created by the arrogance front against Iran and these negotiations should continue, but everyone should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s activities in the field of nuclear research and development will not stop at all and none of the nuclear achievements can be closed while relations between the IAEA and Iran should stay conventional and should not grow extraordinary,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing directors and experts of the AEOI in a meeting held in Tehran to mark the National Day of the Nuclear Technology.

“Negotiations don’t mean that the Islamic Republic of Iran will withdraw from its scientific nuclear move and the Iranian negotiators should insist on continued nuclear research and development (in their talks with the world powers),” he added.

“None of Iran’s nuclear achievements can be shut down and no one has the right to make a deal over them and no one will do so,” the Leader said, calling on the AEOI experts and officials to continue their progress seriously and powerfully.

Elsewhere, he rejected the western claims that their differences with Iran and sanctions against the country were just rooted in Tehran’s nuclear activities, and said if no nuclear issue existed, they would raise other excuses as now, during the course of the negotiations, the Americans raise human rights issues as an excuse and if the human rights issue is settled, they will seek other excuses.”

He underscored the necessity for continued talks with the world powers, but just over the nuclear issue, and said Iran knows that the West is just seeking excuses for its animosity towards the Islamic Republic, but it continues the talks in a bid to show the world its goodwill and also disclosed the reality of the West’s unreal allegations against Iran’s nuclear activities.

Yet, the Leader stressed that “our negotiators shouldn’t accept any bullying words from the other side”.

By Fars News Agency


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