Iran Boasts of Nuke Potential

Ahmadinejad claims 3,000 centrifuges, after UN praises its probe cooperation
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2007 12:05 PM CDT
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, right and Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, during a news conference after their meeting on Friday, June...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iran is operating 3,000 centrifuges in a bid to enrich uranium for its nuclear program, president Ahmadinejad said today, contradicting a UN report that listed far fewer. But the Iranian president praised the report by the UN nuclear watchdog, which said the country’s rate of enrichment activities had slowed and that it had begun cooperating with investigators.

The centrifuge announcement could prompt a third round of sanctions, the Times reports, as nations grow increasingly weary of a nuclear-empowered Iran. The country claimed similar numbers in April, but UN officials put the number then at 328. Iran has said it wants to operate 54,000 centrifuges.