Iran Completing its Nuclear Activities, Says Atomic Official
The Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereidoun Abbasi, said this week that Iran is completing its nuclear activities, the Fars news agency reported.
Asked about recent media reports on Iran's new centrifuges in the Fordow uranium enrichment facility, Abbasi told reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran is completing its nuclear activities as scheduled “regardless of the negative western media speculations and reports.”
"We are doing our job according to our specified timeline and we are accomplishing them. Our response to such reports is working harder," Abbasi was quoted as having said.
His remarks came a week after Western diplomats said that it appears as though Tehran is in its final stages of placing centrifuges at Fordow.
The diplomats noted that for some unknown reason the new centrifuges have not yet been activated. They added that they received indications that Iran has placed 640 centrifuges out of the 2,800 that were supposed to be installed in the Fordow facility.
The reports seemed to confirm remarks by a Western diplomat registered with the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The diplomat said previously that it is believed Iran continues to install centrifuges at the Fordow plant.
The IAEA reported in August that Iran had installed 350 new centrifuges since May, in addition to a previously-reported 1,000 that have been installed as part of Iran’s plan to have 3,000 centrifuges working.
A report published several weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal warned that Iran will be able to produce weapons-grade nuclear fuel in the next two to four months.
The Fordow facility near Qom is underground, heavily fortified and protected by the armed forces, making it a very difficult target for air strikes.
The existence of the facility only came to light after it was identified by Western intelligence agencies in September 2009.