Iran now has 6,000 centrifuges for uranium

TEHRAN - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Iran now possesses 6,000 centrifuges, a significant increase in the number of uranium-enriching machines in its nuclear program, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The new figure is double the 3,000 centrifuges Iran had previously said it was operating in its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.

"Islamic Iran today possesses 6,000 centrifuges," Ahmadinejad told university professors in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

The assertion that Iran has reached that goal is certain to further rankle the United States and other world powers. Washington and its allies have been demanding a halt to Iran's enrichment out of fear it is intent on using the technology to develop weapons.

Iran vehemently denies those allegations and says it is interested in enrichment only for its nuclear power program.

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