Iran's deputy nuclear chief says his country has long-range plans to use 54-thousand centrifuges to make fuel for a key nuclear reactor.
Mohammad Saeedi said on Wednesday the eventual use of the centrifuges at a nuclear facility in the central town of Natanz will produce enough fuel for a one-thousand-megawatt reactor. His comments came amid signs of growing international alarm at Iran's claim to have enriched uranium in 164 centrifuges to a level used in nuclear power plants.
The world's leading powers, including Russia and China, have joined to condemn Iran's apparent defiance of a U.N. Security Council directive, ordering Iran to cease all nuclear work by the end of this month.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, is set to hold talks on the dispute in Tehran Thursday. He is to brief the Security Council after the U.N. deadline expires April 28th.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Iran's announcement is a step that will further isolate the country from the international community.
Russia and Germany called the Iranian development a step in the wrong direction. France has urged Iran to stop what it calls dangerous activities. Israel called Iran's claim worrying and frustrating. China said Iran's enrichment move is not in line with what is required by the international community.