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08/18/13

Iran has 18,000 centrifuges: Former AEOI chief

Source: Press TV

Former head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi says the Islamic Republic has a total of 18,000 centrifuges, ten thousand of which are currently running. In his valediction ceremony on Saturday, Abbasi said Iran has 17,000 first-generation centrifuges, ISNA reported. "More than 10,000 [centrifuges] are operating and another 7,000 are ready to be installed," Abbasi added.


A file photo of centrifuges at Natanz uranium enrichment plant

The former Iranian nuclear chief also said over 1,000 indigenously-manufactured new-generation centrifuges have also been installed and are ready to be launched.

"Nearly 9,000 centrifuges in Natanz site enrich uranium below the five-percent grade and more than 700 centrifuges in Natanz and Fordow enrich uranium to 20-percent level simultaneously," Abbasi added.

Abbasi had said on February 23 that more than 180 new-generation centrifuges have been installed at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility.

On Thursday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani appointed Ali Akbar Salehi as vice-president and head of the AEOI.


Fereydoun Abbasi (R) handed over his responsibilities to Ali Akbar Salehi (L) on Sunday

Salehi served as foreign minister under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from December 2010 to August 2013. He was also Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) between 1997 and 2005.

Moreover, he served as deputy secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) between 2007 and 2009 and head of the AEOI from 2009 to 2010.

Referring to Salehi's appointment as the head of AEOI, Abbasi said he expects the new chief to be able to successfully handle Iran's nuclear dossier.

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