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Iran moves to build advanced centrifuges: atomic chief

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-06-05 23:08

TEHRAN - Iran's atomic chief said here Tuesday that the Islamic republic is preparing the infrastructure for building advanced centrifuges, Press TV reported.

The work has begun at Iran's Natanz enrichment facility, observing the country's commitments to 2015 nuclear deal, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said.

"Yesterday, we took the first step and submitted a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the start of certain activities, but we started to take the necessary practical measures today," Salehi was quoted as saying.

"If conditions are ripe, I may explain tomorrow night at Natanz one of the projects we have in mind, which is a center for the production of new centrifuges," he said.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday ordered the AEOI to prepare for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU (separative work units).

Developing such infrastructure would move along quickly, Salehi said, adding, "If we were progressing normally, it would have taken six or seven years, but this will now be ready within weeks and months."

None of the measures Tehran is taking will violate the terms of the JCPOA, he said. "Iran's nuclear activities, as repeatedly declared, particularly by senior officials, will be peaceful," Salehi was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.

AEOI is pursuing two major goals supplying nuclear electricity and fuel for nuclear power plants, he added.

Iran is holding negotiations with European countries on preserving the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the US pullout in May.

Tehran has threatened in case other parties to the nuclear deal could not safeguard Iran's interests under the accord, Iran will move out of it and will resume its nuclear activities even at full speed.

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