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Iran's Nuclear Chief Says 18,000 Centrifuges Installed

Fereydun Abbasi-Davani
Iran has installed 18,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, according to the country's outgoing nuclear chief, Fereydun Abbasi-Davani.

Quoted by the ISNA news agency, Abbasi-Davani said Iran has 17,000 older "first-generation" IR-1 centrifuges, of which 10,000 are operating and 7,000 are ready to start operations.

He also said there were 1,000 new, more advanced centrifuges ready to start operations, which once operational would allow Iran to enrich uranium several times faster than the IR-1 machine.

New Iranian President Hassan Rohani, a former nuclear negotiator, has appointed Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's previous foreign minister, to head the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

The United States and its allies fear Iran is seeking to produce nuclear weapons.

Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Reuters