Monday, February 05, 2007
By News Agencies
Technicians have assembled two small uranium enrichment units at Iran's underground Natanz complex, diplomats and officials said Monday. The move underscored Tehran's defiance of a United Nations Security Council ban on the program, which can be used to create nuclear arms.News that Iran had linked up two sets of centrifuges - each consisting of 164 machines connected in series - was widely expected.The 328 centrifuges would be the vanguard of 3,000 planned for installation in the coming months.
Iran recently finished installing piping, electrical cables and other equipment needed to begin so-called "industrial-scale" enrichment in the vast subterranean complex, which is fortified and ringed by anti-aircraft guns in the central Iranian desert.Both the Iranian leadership and the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency had said recently that Tehran would start assembling the machines this month. Still, with Tehran under UN sanctions because of its refusal to give up the program, it upped the ante in Tehran's confrontation with the international community.