In Other News: Iran Increases Centrifuges to 4,000
As odd as it may seem there are other things happening in the world outside of the American presidential election. One of these is that it has been reported that Iran has increased the number of centrifuges it has deployed for enriching uranium to 4,000:
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has increased the number of operating centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant to 4,000, a top official said Friday, pushing ahead with the nuclear program despite threats of new U.N. sanctions.
The number was up from the 3,000 centrifuges that Iran announced in November that it was operating at its plant in the central city of Natanz. Still, it is well below the 6,000 it said last year it would operate by summer 2008, suggesting the program may be behind schedule.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, who visited Natanz last week, said Friday that Iran was preparing to install even more centrifuges, though he did not offer a timeframe.
“Right now, nearly 4,000 centrifuges are operating at Natanz,” Attar told the state news agency IRNA. “Currently, 3,000 other centrifuges are being installed.”
If Iran is ever to start producing weapons-grade HEU it is likely to be at Natanz. This news is unlikely to make capitals in Western Europe feel any more comfortable with the situation in Iran. Nor in Washington, for that matter.
With its increasing international isolation over its activities in the Caucasus Russia is unlikely to feel in a cooperative mood about imposing increased sanctions on its client, Iran.