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Iran Moving Ahead With Nuclear Plan to Install 3,000 Centrifuges


Iran's Foreign Ministry says Tehran is moving ahead with a plan to expand its uranium enrichment program by installing 3,000 centrifuges by next March.

An Iranian spokesman says the installation of the machines will take place under the supervision of U.N. inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran has ignored demands by the U.N. Security Council to suspend uranium enrichment.

Centrifuges are used to make enriched uranium for power plants. A much higher grade of the fuel is required for a nuclear bomb.

Iran says it is currently operating two chains, or cascades of 164 centrifuges, but wants 3,000 next year. The additional centrifuges will allow Iran to enrich uranium on an industrial scale.

The number of centrifuges now in operation would take a long time to produce enough material for a nuclear warhead.

The United States and other Western powers accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized the Security Council Sunday, accusing it of acting disgracefully by threatening countries that legally pursue nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.