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No technical problems in nuke programme: Iran PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 April 2008

Iran denied Friday that it faced any "technical problems" in expanding its controversial nuclear programme, which the West fears could be diverted towards weapons development, reports AFP.

"There are no technical problems regarding the development of centrifuges," deputy head of Iran''s Atomic Energy Organisation, Mohammad Saeedi told the state IRNA news agency.

On Tuesday Iran announced it had started to install thousands of new centrifuges to enrich uranium at its main nuclear plant in Natanz, in defiance of international demands that it halt enrichment.

But diplomats say Iran has experienced difficulties in utilising its existing centrifuges to full capacity. Iran''s ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, has said it was "natural in this kind of industry that there are ups and downs once in a while."

Uranium enrichment lies at the core of the standoff over Iran''s nuclear programme, as the process, which makes nuclear fuel, could be used to make atom bombs.

As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran insists it has a right to enrichment to make nuclear fuel to meet growing energy needs of its population and vehemently denies allegations of seeking a bomb.

Tehran''s refusal to suspend enrichment has been punished with three sets of UN Security Council sanctions and US pressure on its banking system.

But Tehran has rejected the UN Security Council resolutions as "political and illegal" and vowed to press on with its nuclear programme in the face of pressure.

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