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Iran has tested two high capacity centrifuges: Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday declared that the Islamic republic has tested "two kinds of new" high capacity centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2009 21:21 IST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday declared that the Islamic republic has tested "two kinds of new" high capacity centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

Ahmadinejad, speaking at a function marking national nuclear day, said Iran had notched up two achievements -- the manufacture of nuclear fuel and "testing of two kinds of new centrifuges having greater capacity (to enrich uranium) than the existing ones."

Iran's atomic chief Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, speaking at the same function in central Isfahan province, said the Islamic republic has installed around 7,000 centrifuges at its Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

"Today in Natanz there are around 7,000 centrifuges installed," Aghazadeh said, adding that Iran had reached a "new phase (generation) of acquiring the technology of uranium enrichment."

In its February 19 report, the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said 3,964 centrifuges were actively enriching uranium in Natanz.

It said another 1,476 were undergoing vacuum or dry run tests without nuclear material, and an additional 125 centrifuges had been installed but remained stationary.