Iran: nuclear Natanz centrifuges working


Iran said it passed another nuclear milestone.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday that 3,000 centrifuges installed in its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz are fully working.

If true, Natanz could potentially produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon within a couple of years, analysts say.

Western intelligence agencies, which in the past have accused Ahmadinejad of exaggerating the rate of progress in Iran’s nuclear program, had no immediate comment on his latest claim.

On Tuesday, Israel’s military intelligence predicted that Iran will procure nuclear weaponry as early as 2009.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened his security cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in Tehran. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former Israeli defense chief, said 2008 will be the “critical year” for preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.

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