The head of an Iranian nuclear organization, Ali Akbar, says the "entire nuclear activity of Iran is going on," despite the nuclear deal reached with the United States and other Western nations. Akbar made the comments in an interview with PressTV, an Iranian propaganda outfit.
Akbar also says they won't dismantle Arak reactor, that the American have achieved nothing, and that they're continuing to build new nuclear sites.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in Tehran about the disputed issues surrounding Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: The United States says that it has managed to dismantle at least parts of Iran’s nuclear program. What do you say to that?
Salehi: At the outset allow me to thank you and it’s my pleasure talking to you.
If you look at the word ‘dismantle’ and you look at it in the dictionary, dismantle means to take apart and try to put it into pieces, equipment. Well, you can come and see whether our nuclear sites, nuclear equipment and nuclear facilities are dismantled or not.
The only thing we have stopped and suspended – and that is voluntarily – is the production of 20 percent enriched uranium and that’s it.
Of course, there is another thing that we have undertaken; we have committed ourselves not to install main equipment, which have been defined as to what those main equipments are in the Arak 40 megawatt heavy water reactor.
The nuclear facilities are functioning; our enrichment is proceeding, it’s doing its work, it’s producing the 5 percent enriched uranium and those centrifuges that stopped producing the 20 percent will be producing 5 percent enriched uranium. In other words our production of 5 percent [uranium] will increase. The entire nuclear activity of Iran is going on.
Centrifuges that were used for the production of 20 percent, they will be used now for producing 5 percent enriched uranium.
Press TV: Will that create another stumbling block in the way of negotiations?
Salehi: No. This has been agreed already.
Press TV: This has been agreed?
Salehi: Yes, that those centrifuges that stopped producing the 20 percent will be producing 5 percent.
Press TV: What about research and the new-generation centrifuges that Iran has developed – what’s going to happen to them?
Salehi: That’s a good question. In fact, the best part of this joint action plan is the research part. It’s so clear that R&D has no constraint. We are working on our advanced centrifuges. We have a number of advanced centrifuges, which are under the IAEA supervision where they are being tested and uranium gas has been injected into it – of course, not for accumulation, it’s just for testing those centrifuges.
Once you develop a centrifuge you test it first. Once you test the first centrifuge you will have two centrifuges; test them together and then you will have 10, 20; then you can go up to 50 and then 164.
And those centrifuges will have to be working together in a cascade for a while – for probably two years to make sure that those centrifuges that have been developed are performing well enough to then be able to produce them in mass production.
Press TV: Let’s go back to the question of dismantling the nuclear program as the United States is talking about.
Iran has 19,000 centrifuges as far as we have learned – it’s in the news. The Americans are saying that they have managed to put a break or put an end to the operation of half of the centrifuges that Iran has and has had in operation.
These 19,000 centrifuges, my question is, were they operational before the joint action plan – all of them; and now the US has managed to stop half of them?
Salehi: You see, we have two sites for enrichment, one is at Natanz and the other one is at Fordo.
Out of the 18,000 centrifuges that we have roughly, 9,000 of them are working, are functioning; and the other 9,000 we have voluntarily accepted not to inject gas into them.
Press TV: You were not injecting gas before the joint action plan so the situation has not changed?
Salehi: Yes. That was a political decision that was made in the previous government and that decision is still upheld.