News / USA

Iran Announces New, Faster Centrifuges for Uranium Enrichment

Iran announced Friday that is had developed a new, faster generation of centrifuges for uranium enrichment, signaling its determination to press on with its nuclear work despite possible new sanctions being sought by U.S. President Barack Obama.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had indicated earlier in the week that a "momentous" development was in the offing about Iran's nuclear program and Friday's announcement of a new generation of centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility came as little surprise.

Both Mr. Ahmadinejad and Iran's atomic energy head Ali Akbar Salehi spoke at a ceremony marking Friday's "Nuclear Energy Day," amid pomp and media fanfare.

Salehi spoke at great length about Iran's nuclear achievements, thanking Iranian scientists for their hard work, and praised President Ahmedinejad for his part in the nuclear program. He then went on to laud the most recent development.

He said Iran will show off its third generation of centrifuges which are considerably more advanced and capable of a separation power which is 10 times faster than that of the first generation.

Iran's dogged determination to continue with its nuclear program, despite Western charges that it is trying to build nuclear weapons, will be the subject of a nuclear security conference in Washington, next week, to be attended by both Russia and China.

President Ahmadinejad repeatedly denied, during his speech, that Iran has any intention of building an "atomic bomb," emphasizing the merits of peaceful civilian nuclear power.

He said Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant saves a considerable amount of oil.  He also said climate change is affecting the world and that fossil fuels are contributing to the problem, so nuclear energy is necessary. He went on to insist that nuclear energy is a Divine right of every nation.

The Iranian president also appeared to aim his speech at other third-world nations, complaining that it was the U.S. that used the atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that the U.S. had invaded Iraq but found no nuclear weapons.

He went on to plug Tehran's own nuclear "disarmament conference", due to begin this weekend, complaining that nuclear weapons are a "world" problem. He stated that all independent nations are threatened by nuclear weapons, which he said are part of a global crisis.

Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, says that Iran's announcement Friday about its new third generation of centrifuges, if it were true, will give it the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, if it chooses to do so, that much more quickly.

"The bottom line is quite simple: If indeed Iran has been able to put together a new generation of centrifuges that are able to spin faster and are more efficient and more reliable, it means that Iran can enrich uranium faster….and the question is: where will these centrifuges go to," he said.

Ottolenghi notes that the 2007 National Defense Assessment postulated that Iran was conducting a parallel clandestine nuclear weapons program and that a newer form of centrifuge would reduce the time needed to build an atomic bomb from a year to considerably less than that.

President Barack Obama, who hosts next week's nuclear security summit in Washington is seeking the support of Western powers for a new round of sanctions against Iran.

Nevertheless, Mr. Obama spoke philosophically about the merits of sanctions, telling ABC's Good Morning America, that "international pressure" on countries like Iran and North Korea "sometimes [cause them] to change behavior, [and] sometimes they don't."

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs