Senior Iranian foreign ministry officials on Saturday strongly rejected a report by the US daily, Washington Post, on the number of centrifuges demanded by Iranian negotiators in their nuclear talks with the 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) group of powers.
“What has been released about an agreement over the number of centrifuges is rejected,” an official close to the Iranian negotiating team said on Saturday.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always laid emphasis on all its nuclear rights to use the civilian nuclear technology along with (the adoption of) any measure in area of transparency,” the official stressed.
Washington Post claimed in a Saturday report that Iran and the US have been using back-channel talks to come into terms over their differences, claiming that Iran began the negotiations by demanding 22,000 centrifuges and the United States insisted on a limit of 2,000.
“That gap is said to have narrowed considerably, with Iran suggesting it keep the roughly 9,400 it’s now operating, and the United States hinting it might accept a cap of 4,000 centrifuges, for three to five years,” the report added.
Washington Post further claimed in the report that “the United States might compromise on the number of centrifuges if the Iranians agree to sharply cut their stockpile of enriched uranium from about 10,000 kilograms to a few hundred”.
The western media speculations about the contents of the Iran-world powers nuclear talks have repeatedly been rejected by the Iranian officials.
In September, Supreme Leader’s senior advisor Ali Akbar Velayati said Iran would never accept to decrease the number of its operating centrifuge machines.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s stances are the direct opposite to this (proposal) and Iran will by no means accept what the Americans want to impose on this country outside the international regulations,” Velayati said after his meeting with Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Jarallah in Tehran.
He noted that the Iranian Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) has also on different occasions declared Iran’s stances in this regard, which are contrary to what the Americans are looking for.
Velayati said that Iran had always announced that it is pursuing peaceful objectives in the nuclear field and it intended to use the energy for industrial purposes because this energy produces the minimum environmental pollution.
In a relevant development in July, the Iranian legislators in a statement appreciated the country’s negotiators in nuclear talks with the six world powers, and meantime stressed that any final deal with the sextet should endorse Iran’s use of enough centrifuge machines to produce its needed 190,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) enrichment capacity for fueling Iran’s power and research reactors.
“As the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution explicitly announced, the country needs 190,000 SWUs for producing fuel for its nuclear power plants, (therefore) the negotiating team should avoid (inking) any agreement which will be different from this amount or lead to pressures by the Group 5+1 or any ambiguities in the future,” the statement read by member of the parliament’s Presiding Board Zarqam Sadeqi stressed.
The statement also stressed the necessity for continued nuclear research and development (R&D) works in Iran, and said, “Fordo as an enrichment and R&D center is necessary for the country and should be kept.”
The Iranian MPs also reiterated the necessity for the simultaneous removal of all sanctions against Iran, the normalization of Tehran’s nuclear case and the country’s use of its rights and advantages based on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The statement was issued over a week after Ayatollah Khamenei rejected the world powers’ demand from Iran to suffice to 10,000 SWUs for enriching uranium, and underlined, “According to the relevant (Iranian) officials the country definitely needs 190,000 SWUs.”
Also one day after Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi lashed out at the western media lies and fabrications about Iran’s demanded number of centrifuge machines during the talks with the world powers in Vienna, and said Iran was in need of 190,000 SWUs to fuel its power and research reactors.
“We need almost 190,000 SWUs for an agreed time interval, meaning the next 8 years, to provide fuel for Bushehr nuclear power plant so that we can provide the fuel for this power plant, Tehran research reactor and Arak reactor after the end of our contract with Russia (which has built Bushehr nuclear power plant),” Salehi told FNA.
“We don’t define enrichment on the basis of the centrifuge machines, but on the basis of its unit, that is SWUs,” he explained.
Salehi underlined that the number of centrifuges needed for having 190,000 SWUs depended on the type of the centrifuge machines.
He said Iran’s first generation IR1 centrifuge machines had a nominal output of over 3 SWUs, but in practice they yielded less than 2 SWUs, meaning that “if we want to reach the above-mentioned 190,000 SWUs with the help of these (IR1) machines, then we would need more numbers, while if we use the (the fourth generation) IR4 centrifuge machines which yield 24 SWUs, then we would need less than 10,000 centrifuge machines”.
“Thus, the hues and cries about the number of centrifuges are deliberate deviations from the reality as we have defined our needs based on SWUs, and not on the basis of centrifuge machines,” Salehi said.
He also reiterated that Iran needed centrifuges with 190,000 SWUs to supply the annual needs of its nuclear power plant in Bushehr.