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10 Apr, 2021 11:47

Iranian nuclear activities ‘peaceful & civilian,’ says President Rouhani, as new uranium-enrichment centrifuge chain is unveiled

Iranian nuclear activities ‘peaceful & civilian,’ says President Rouhani, as new uranium-enrichment centrifuge chain is unveiled

Tehran has launched a new uranium-enrichment chain, said to be 10 times more efficient than its predecessor. Unveiling the facility, Iran’s president reiterated that the country’s nuclear program is solely “peaceful and civilian.”

The new uranium-enrichment chain was officially opened by President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday, as Iran celebrated its National Day of Nuclear Technology.

“A chain of 164 IR6 centrifuges was launched today, and this chain is such that it can provide us with 10 times more product than the previous chain. This means that the previous centrifuges were at 1 SWU, and this new series is 10 SWUs,” Rouhani said, referring to separative work units (SWUs), which is the standard measure of effort needed to separate isotopes of uranium.

The country also possesses even more advanced IR-9 centrifuges, boasting 50 SWUs, Rouhani added. These centrifuges, which are still prototypes, have recently undergone a new series of mechanical tests.

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The president reiterated that the country’s nuclear program serves only “peaceful and civilian” purposes, dismissing repeated allegations that Tehran may be seeking to acquire nuclear weaponry. Such claims emanating from the West stem from the region’s own misuse of nuclear technology, he said.

If the West looks at the morals and beliefs that exist in our country, they will find that they should not be worried and [get] sensitive about our nuclear technology, but because they themselves have used this technology [inappropriately], they think that we will do the same.

The inauguration of the new uranium-enrichment chain comes in the aftermath of talks in Vienna on the fate of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The deal has remained in limbo since early 2018, when then-US president Donald Trump walked away from the multinational agreement, accusing Tehran of somehow violating its “spirit” – despite independent observers repeatedly confirming Tehran’s compliance.

Since then, the US has revived old sanctions and implemented multiple new measures against Iran. In response, Tehran has suspended most of its commitments under the JCPOA, gradually expanding its nuclear activities over the past few months.

Also on rt.com State Dept says US prepared to lift Iran sanctions, but warns of ‘long road ahead’ amid indirect talks to revive nuclear pact

The Vienna talks, during which the US and Iran did not communicate directly, have not resulted in any major breakthrough. Iran has unequivocally stated that only lifting all of the US sanctions will make it possible to reanimate the JCPOA. Washington, however, has not expressed any readiness to do so, despite the trend displayed by the Joe Biden administration to erase all of Trump’s legacy.

“If Iran sticks to the position that every sanction that has been imposed since 2017 has to be lifted or there will be no deal, then we are heading towards an impasse,” a senior US State Department official told reporters in a phone briefing after the talks on Friday.

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