Iran testing sophisticated enrichment

Ahmadinejad: Nation is researching the quadruple capacity P-2 centrifuge.

April 17, 2006 15:05
2 minute read.
iran nuclear plant 298.88

iran nuke plant 298.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Iran's statement on Monday afternoon that it was conducting research and tests on a more sophisticated type of nuclear enrichment centrifuge could significantly speed the process of making fuel for either electrical plants or bombs, say analysts familiar with the technology. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told students that the country was testing the P-2 centrifuge - a more sophisticated type - in a speech last Wednesday, a day after he had trumpeted Iran's success in enriching uranium using a less-sophisticated type of centrifuge.

JPOST.COM HIT LIST's most popular articles this past week [click here]
"Our centrifuges are P-1 type. P-2, which has quadruple the capacity, now is under the process of research and test in the country," Ahmadinejad told the students in a speech in Khorasan in northeastern Iran. His comments, made last Wednesday, were subsequently posted on the official presidential Web site. Iran's move to enrich uranium has come in defiance of demands from the United States, Europe and the UN nuclear watchdog agency. The current centrifuges that Iran has used to do small-scale enrichment are considered an inferior model, said David Albright, a former UN inspector and head of the Institute for Science and International Security. But Iran also is known to have received plans for the German-made P-2 centrifuges through a black-market network run by A.Q. Khan, considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb. The P-2 centrifuges, more sophisticated and reliable, would presumably make it easier for Iran to ramp up the production of enriched uranium. Ahmadinejad did not provide any details in his speech to the students. But his statement was the first time that Iran has officially said it was seeking to develop the more advanced P-2 centrifuges as it continues to forge ahead with its nuclear development plans. The United Nations has demanded Iran give up uranium enrichment amid accusations from the United States and Europe that the country seeks to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies those claims, saying the aim of its nuclear program is to generate electricity. On Monday, Iran said threats would not affect its decision over whether to continue its nuclear program, state media reported. "Threats are not effective," the television quoted Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, as saying. Last month, the UN Security Council demanded that Iran stop all enrichment activity by April 28 because of suspicions the program really aims to make weapons. But Iran has rejected the demand and announced last week that, for the first time, it had enriched uranium with 164 of the less-sophisticated P-1 centrifuges. Last week, Larijani made no concessions during talks with Mohamed ElBaradei, the UN nuclear agency chief, who was trying to head off a confrontation with the Security Council during a visit to Tehran. Meanwhile, the state news agency also quoted Parviz Fattah, Iran's energy minister, as saying the government has plans for the construction of 20 nuclear power plants in the country. He did not elaborate. Iran says it is enriching uranium to a low degree to be used as fuel for generating power in a nuclear power reactor. Higher-level enrichment makes uranium suitable for a nuclear bomb, but Western experts familiar with Iran's program say the country still is far from producing weapons-grade uranium.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

December 11, 2018
Lebanese's Aoun intervenes in stalled efforts to form new unity government