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Iran Seeks 60,000 Centrifuges

President Ahmadinejad (file photo) (RFE/RL) November 20, 2006 -- Iran's ISNA news agency quotes President Mahmud Ahmadinejad as saying Tehran wants 60,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium to meet its nuclear-fuel needs within a year.

Ahmadinejad, during a tour of Iranian state-run television, also said Israel is currently incapable of launching an effective military attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

The UN has demanded that Tehran halt its enrichment work and threatened sanctions.

Ahmadinejad said today he doubts sanctions will be imposed but if they are, they would not cause problems for the country.

Meanwhile, the technical committee of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is today discussing an Iranian request for help in completing a heavy-water nuclear research reactor.

Reports say there is disagreement among panel members about whether to provide technical assistance for the reactor at Arak.

The plant will be able to produce plutonium -- a substance that can be used in the core of nuclear bombs.

Tehran denies Western accusations that it is secretly attempting to acquire nuclear weapons.

(compiled from agency reports)

Iran And China

Iran And China

Chinese President Jiang Zemin visiting the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis in April 2002 (epa)

TWO REEMERGING CULTURES: At a joint RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing at RFE/RL's Washington, D.C., office on November 9, John Calabrese -- scholar in residence at the Middle East Institute who teaches foreign policy at American University -- discussed the growing ties between China and Iran in the context of China's economic boom and its overall relations with the Middle East. He also looked at potential sore points in the two countries' bilateral relations.


Listen to the complete discussion (about 90 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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RFE/RL's English-language coverage of China and Iran.


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