Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday announced the creation of significantly more powerful centrifuges for producing nuclear fuel, but avoided certain details that made it difficult to assess whether Tehran could dramatically increase the pace and scope of its uranium enrichment program.
“If they can deploy them, it’s a problem because they can deploy a lot less, which means a smaller facility that’s easier to hide,” David Albright, a former inspector with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, told The Times.
“It’s a troubling development if they can build a couple thousand of these machines, but everyone is so cynical with Iran … they want to see evidence,” he said.
Albright also cast doubt on claims that 60,000 more centrifuges will be installed at Iran’s main plant in Natanz. “They’ve been saying that for years,” he said. “They are having trouble getting 4,000 to work.”