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Interview: Iran Nuclear Chief On New Centrifuge, Dummy Fuel

Source: Press TV

On the day Iran celebrates its nuclear achievements and announces its advancements in this technology, Press TV interviewed the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi.

Q: As we have been reporting, Iran has been celebrating its national nuclear technology there announcing its latest nuclear achievements. Lets hear more about this from the man how is in charge of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Doctor Ali Akbar Salehi. Doctor Salehi many thanks for joining us tonight, after the very long day.

Doctor Salehi two of the achievements that were mentioned today were new generation centrifuges and atomic fuel. Tell us on the significance of these achievements in materializing Iran's peaceful nuclear ambitions.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)


A: Tenth of April is a great day for Iran because it reminds Iranians about this slogan that we are capable, that we are able to achieve what is needed for the good of our people. So today we are happy to announce that we unveiled two high tech projects. One is about the new generation centrifuges which are probably five to six folds as capable as the present ones. In other words their separation factor is much higher or the separation capacity of the separation power is much higher. So each centrifuge is equivalent to probably equal to probably six present generation centrifuges. Not only that, the diameter of this centrifuge is about 20 centimeters, which is bigger than the diameter of the present centrifuges and that means not only the separation power is more, it can also handle more quantity of uranium per unit time.

This centrifuge is completely indigenous, it has been developed indigenously, designed and constructed and every thing. We have passed all the mechanical tests, we have not yet started introducing the active gas into it, but soon will be starting introducing the active gas into it.

The other project was the dummy fuel or the mock up fuel for the research reactor of Tehran. I remember that when few months back when we stated many times that if they do not respond to our needs we have the capability to start producing our own fuel. But then, I have seen in their analysis, their reports, and in their assessments that Iran is not capable in producing the 20 percent enriched uranium. Once we produced it, then they said, ok, but now Iran is not capable of producing the fuel plates. And today we have shown to the entire world that Iran is capable of producing the fuel although it is a mock up fuel, a dummy fuel,

Just to explain what the dummy fuel means (I should say) it is exactly like the real fuel, with the exception that the 'meat', the thing inside the fuel, instead of being uranium, is copper. Then in the next step, instead of copper, we will be using another material that is not an active material, but has all the essential characteristics of uranium. We will be producing another dummy fuel with that material and then in the third step we will be using uranium.

The question now is that why we have to pass all these three steps? This is our first trial, this is our first experience, and so we have to make sure that every thing is done in a proper way that every thing is safely achieved or safely constructed or produced or manufactured, because safety is very important in entire nuclear activities.

Q: Now we go to earlier reports and analysis that you mentioned earlier that have been made up of Iran's new nuclear advancements. The announcements that we made today did not go unnoticed in western countries, they have come out and said that Iran is in violation of the United Nations Security Council's resolutions, and among these countries have been Britain. I want to hear your reactions to those comments.

A: Well why are we in violation? I mean, we are a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We are a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We have the inspectors residing in Iran, they have cameras in all our nuclear facilities, they are controlling the nuclear facilities 24 hours a day, and we also have the inspectors inspecting the facilities. What else do we have to do? In accordance to the NPT, we have the right to enrich uranium, to enter into the entire fuel cycle. This is our right. So we recognize that we are committed to certain commitments and responsibilities, and we have shown our commitments. There is no further question asked, or any outstanding issues from the agency, except (for) one alleged issue which is an alleged issue, which is not authenticated, it has been indicated by the previous director general doctor ElBaradei (Former Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei). He never included as part, as an annex, to his reports. He always stated that this is not authentic. That issue has to do with rockets; issues that are not (related) to nuclear issues.

Going back to this (your) question, so why are we not allowed from their perspective. They would like us to be committed to our responsibilities, but when it comes to our rights, they start making all kinds of accusations and all kinds of excuses to stop us from pursuing our rights. We believe the United Nations Security Council's resolutions specifically in our case are invalid and illegal. You may ask why they are illegal, you see, I am speaking legally, I am not speaking like some one (who) wants to sort of justify some thing without any basis. It is illegal because we were never in breach of any thing. We may have committed certain failures but this is some thing normal in the 150-members of the IAEA, every now and then, have oversight in their activities. That oversight is reflected in the SIR report which is of course a Safeguard Implementation Report, and then they will have to rectify that. The most I can say we may have had some failures. OK. But we indicated these failures to them, and we rectified those. We responded to the six outstanding issues in the time of doctor ElBaradei. There are no more outstanding issues (left) other than the alleged ones. Therefore, the reference of our nuclear file to the UN in the first place was not rational, it was illegal. So what has been passed in the UN is illegal. This is our right; otherwise, if we wanted to do some thing that would violate our commitment, we would have dissociated ourselves from the NPT. Then we would have started doing whatever we wanted to do. But we insist that we are a member of the NPT, we shall stay as a member of NPT, which we believe is for the good of the international community.

Q: One last question Dr. Salehi, you have been recently quoted in the news saying that Iran is to build new enrichment facilities and that you are waiting for the go ahead from President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Can you tell us when that may happen?

A: Yes. The (government of the) Islamic Republic of Iran decreed a statement a few months back that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran will have to look into ten new sites. So we came up with certain criteria and indicators that those sites would have to satisfy (that criteria) in order to make them as a candidate site. We have found the sites, but this is a long term project. It is not an over night project. We will be starting with one of those sites based on the information that we have supplied to the president, he would have to make the decision. Probably this year, some time in the next few months, we will be starting the construction of this new site.

Doctor Salehi I would like to thank you for taking the time to come here.

... Payvand News - 04/10/10 ... --

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