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    Entries in centrifuge technology (1)

    Thursday
    Dec032009

    Ahmadinejad taunts Israel

    Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, Dec. 2, that Iran will enrich uranium to 20 percent. His latest show of defiance, focusing on the US and Israel, follows Tehran's announcement of plans to build another 10 enrichment plants capable of producing 300 tons of enriched uranium a year in response to the UN nuclear watchdog's censure of its second enrichment plant near Qom.

    The building of two new plants will begin in two months.

    Deliberately taunting Israel, he said in a speech from Isfahan broadcast live by state television: "The Zionist regime is nothing. Even its masters cannot do a damn thing." For Tehran the nuclear issue is "over." The Islamic republic will "not back down from its rights."

    On his visit to Isfahan, site of a nuclear fuel plant, Ahmadinejad said: "The Iranian nation will by itself make the 20 percent (nuclear) fuel (enriched uranium) and whatever it needs," after threatening: "Any finger which is about to pull the trigger will be cut off."

    The western powers would not be able to isolate Iran, he said, and dismissed the possibility of a military attack.

    Tehran has turned down the international offer for Russia to convert 70 percent of Iran's low-grade enriched uranium into fuel for medical research; France was to have neutralized its possible conversion into weapons-grade material. Now, Ahmadinejad accused the Western powers and Israel of using against Tehran what he called an Iranian proposal to trade its low-enriched uranium in return for 20 percent enriched material.

    Tension between Tehran and the world powers has heightened over this controversy.

    DEBKAfile adds: The centrifuge technology that increases the concentration of U-235 isotopes up to the 5-20 percent level can also be used to increase it to nuclear-weapons grade. It is a question of intent.