Muhammad Sahimi: If Iran can produce the IR-4 centrifuges at large scale it could be a success

Posted on February 20, 2012

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If Iran is able to produce the IR-4 centrifuges at a large scale, then this can be assessed as success in country’s nuclear program, Professor of chemical engineering in Southern California University, Muhammad Sahimi believes.

A few days ago Iran unveiled three new achievements in its nuclear program, which were the increased number of centrifuges, production of new IR-4 generation centrifuges and successful loading of domestically-made fuel rods into the nuclear reactor.

Iran claimed the output of the IR-4 centrifuges is 50% more than centrifuges of earlier generation. Unlike centrifuges of previous generations (IR-1, IR-2, IR-3), the IR-4 centrifuges have higher speed and production capacity. the centrifuges were unveiled at the Natanz nuclear plant.

“If Iran has been able to produce the new centrifuges with the said properties, and can produce them on a large scale, it would represent a significant development,” Sahimi said.

“The new centrifuges are much faster and more efficient, and can produce enriched uranium at much shorter times than the older ones currently in use,” he added.

The U.S. Department of State did not assess Iran’s latest nuclear achievements as serious, calling them “hype”.

Iran’s achievements will not change the view of the international community, U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said a few days ago in Washington, at a daily briefing.

Muhammad Sahimi believes that if Iran’s claims are true, it would be a huge success for country’s nuclear development.

“Iran has exaggerated its achievements in the past, and it is too early to decide whether this is another exaggerated claim,” he said. “But, if the claims come even close to reality, they will represent major progress”.

Iran says its nuclear program is confined to production of peaceful atomic energy which it says is a fundamental right of any country. Western nations and Israel have charged that Tehran is secretly working to build nuclear weapons – an assertion Iran vehemently denies.

Tensions in the region over Iran’s nuclear activities have been on the rise in recent months as speculation has mounted that Israel may be preparing for a strike on Iranian facilities that the Jewish state says constitute a threat to its national security.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian officials have said they are prepared to return to international talks about their nuclear program provided Iran is treated with respect.

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