Iran nuclear chief touts 3,000 new centrifuges

Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tours a nuclear facility.

TEHRAN, Iran Iran's nuclear chief says his country has produced more than 3,000 advanced centrifuges which are used to enrich uranium.

The semiofficial Fars news agency on Sunday quoted Fereidoun Abbasi as saying that the old generation of IR-1 centrifuges will be phased out soon. Iran has more than 12,000 IR-1 centrifuges enriching uranium at its main Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran.

Abbasi said last month that Iran has begun installing the newer IR-2 centrifuges, which can produce more enriched uranium in a shorter period of time. He says the production line of the new, advanced centrifuges has been completed, but he did not elaborate.

The U.S. and its allies fear that Iran may eventually be able to develop a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies.

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