Iran’s Centrifuge Work

Some people are not going to be happy about this.

In the interview I cited in “this post,”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1403/iran-still-does-not-have-3000-centrifuges Gholamreza Aqazadeh indicated that Iran is still working on new types of centrifuges and intends to build new uranium conversion facilities.

Iran has made similar centrifuge comments “in the past,”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_05/iransecuritycouncil.asp but I think this interview [full text in comments] provides a glance at Iran’s current R&D efforts.

Here’s the relevant portion:

[Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh, how many thousand centrifuges is needed to produce the fuel for a 1,000 megawatts power plant? Does it need to be four thousand centrifuges or three thousand is enough?

[Aqazadeh] It depends on the type of the machine. I mean there are some old generation machines which require more. Because the amount of fuel it produces is low. Imagine if we inject 80 grams of UF6 in a chain to achieve five per cent enrichment we would get one eighth or one tenth of this amount. And in order to get the required fuel we would have to increase the number of chains. *If the new generation machines, especially those which are Kevlar [as heard] and are of synthetic material and the world are relying on them, suddenly you see that the same machines can provide fuel for three or four power plants instead of one. It means that both their intake and output are great. Therefore this is an industry that we need to keep ourselves upgraded through research. We should work on new generations, technologies. I can tell our people that we have passed the stage of complete mastery over designing the machines.*

*[snip]*

[Aqazadeh] As I already said this depends on the type of machines we use. *With the present generation of machines we can produce one-fifth of the needed fuel.* I cannot exactly give you the answer, but if we know what type of machines we are talking about, then I can give you an answer.

*There are machines on which we are working. If we develop the appropriate machines, because of their great capabilities, we will quickly be in need of far less number of machines. We are considering a 20 year perspective. In view of the rapid development of new generation of machines in Iran, we may be able to say in the near future that we have achieved the capability to produce a generation of equipment that need far less number of machines.* Based on our developed capabilities, we would then be able to speak more seriously about the 1,200 tons of fuel and that how much of it can be produced within the country.

Presumably, the “synthetic material” refers to the P-2 centrifuge (or something similar), “the rotor of which is made of carbon fiber.”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1386/pimp-my-cascade

The increased SWU capacity of the new centrifuges that Aqazadeh hints at also suggests that he’s talking about P-2’s (and probably more-advanced centrifuges as well).

Mark Fitzpatrick drew a similar conclusion “in _Survival_”:http://www.world-nuclear.org/reference/pdf/fitzpatrick.pdf from President Ahmadinejad’s April 2006 claim that Iran was working on improved centrifuges ” ‘that would quadruple Iran’s enrichment power.’ ” Fitzpatrick noted that the “German-origin P-2 centrifuges…are rated at 5 SWU,” which is considerably “more than”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1032/collected-thoughts-on-iranian-leu Iran’s P-1.

Anyhow, stop reading blogs and watch “this instead.”:http://www.kickedinthenuts.com/index.asp

1 thought on “Iran’s Centrifuge Work

  1. Paul Kerr

    Full text of the Aqazadeh interview:

    The followings are excerpts from the interview broadcast live by Iranian TV on 9 April, subheadings inserted editorially:
    [Anchorman]: In the name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful.
    [Passage omitted: The anchorman giving factual news on Iran’s “nuclear news” covered in earlier bulletins].
    Mr Aqazadeh, greetings and congratulations.
    [Aqazadeh]: Thank you very much.
    [Anchorman]: Mr Aqazadeh, Today during the interviews which you and your colleagues had, various issues were mentioned about the Islamic Republic of Iran producing nuclear fuel at the industrial level. But one point which is important is that the number of centrifuges hasn’t been announced. Have we installed the 3000 centrifuges or not?
    [Aqazadeh] In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
    [Passage omitted: Aqazadeh congratulating the nation on nuclear day.]
    On Natanz infrastructure
    During my comments I didn’t give a number on purpose and for a number of reasons. The most important reason is that I was worried that if mention was made of the number of centrifuges, some ambiguities would arise regarding whether we planned to only install 3000 centrifuges or more. This is whilst we have invested and made plans to install 50,000 centrifuges in Natanz. The infrastructure which has been built and all the equipment such as the ventilation, electricity and air conditioning systems, and all the logistical equipment which is needed for this industry, have been built to cover 50000 centrifuges.
    When we announce that we have entered the industrial stage, there are no limitations. I didn’t want this fact to be used as a pretext to say that Iran has now installed 3000 centrifuges and that’s it. No, it’s the opposite. When we enter the industrial stage the installation of equipment continues permanently until the stage where all the 50000 centrifuges are installed. As a result, I thought that this issue may be misused especially by foreign media and make them think that with the installation of these 3000 centrifuges, Iran’s nuclear case will be closed. This was the main reason why I didn’t mention a number in my speech and talked about entering the industrial stage. The reality is that we have all the necessary infrastructure for the development and completion of the whole programme and God willing, we will continue it.
    On Iran’s progress
    [Anchorman]: Mr Aqazadeh. What does entering the industrial stage of nuclear fuel production mean? This is because on 20 Farvardin [1385] last year [9 April 2006] the 3.5 per cent enrichment was announced. Does this mean that we have been able to enrich uranium to a higher level? Or is it being done at the same level for industrial purposes?
    [Passage omitted: Aqazadeh talking about Iran’s nuclear activities in past years and making reference to when Iran announced last year that it had enriched uranium up to 3.5 per cent.]
    Of course those who visited here today and saw the various installations and equipment here couldn’t believe that such progress had been made here in one year. Some days and on average some 3000 people were working here. More than 150 companies were either manufacturing or installing equipment for us. The equipment which has been installed here is very modern, accurate and have been built using sophisticated technology. They are modern equipment. Moreover, alongside this, we had to build, test and install many centrifuge parts before carrying out final tests.
    [Passage omitted: Aqazadeh giving factual technical details on how nuclear fuel is produced at the industrial scale]
    On nuclear fuel objectives
    [Anchorman] Now that we have entered this stage, can we, for example, produce fuel for Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant?
    [Aqazadeh]: This is our objective. We don’t want to be able to produce fuel only for the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant but also based on a Majlis ratification part of the fuel needed to generate 20,000 WM of electricity has to be produced inside Iran. Whilst carrying out studies on to what extent our technology, economy and resources will allow us to meet this crucial nuclear fuel demand and how much we can purchase from international markets, we have to produce this fuel alongside the construction and development of new power plants. Of course today some may say that you don’t have a power plant yet. Yes, it will take a few years before we can produce fuel for one, two or three power plants. It will take this long regardless of when we start. This is nothing new. We have to make the necessary predictions for the future fuel consumption of Bushehr [power plant] or any other power plant which we build].
    There is one key sensitive issue and that is that when we become dependant on the outside world to provide us with fuel, as you can see we are faced with many delays and excuses regarding the delivery of Bushehr Nuclear power Plant’s fuel. If a country doesn’t have a small amount of fuel, it must give in to the demands, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of fuel providers. As you know one of the demands which the Russians made to us was to return the used fuel. Well, we were in circumstances in which we have no choice but to accept. We have accepted to return the used fuel. Well these are necessities which arise and a country has to accept because it doesn’t possess its own fuel.
    Now, if we produce the necessary fuel for the production of 10000 MW of electricity and import the other 10000 MW, the capabilities in Iran will act as the necessary guarantees and assurances that other countries will not annoy us.
    On Iran’s advancement in nuclear field
    I give you some examples here, it is very interesting. We had paid for 100 tonnes of fuel for two units of Bushehr power plant through Siemens when we still had contracts with them. The fuel was produced and it belonged to us but they refused to deliver it to us. They had the power to refuse to deliver it. At the moment we have 50 tonnes of UF6 in France from before the Revolution. It is in storage and they do not deny the fact that it belongs to us but they refuse to deliver. We had contracts with Britain during Shah’s time for the production and the sale of yellow cake. We had many contracts in various fields with different countries. All these factors made us realize that if a country cannot be on its own feet in such a technology, and especially in producing fuel which is the main part of this technology, or have minimum facilities within its country it will always face such international pressures in the future. Otherwise it should give in to other countries’ wishes. It made us realize that if we enter the industrial phase, in case any country which has contracts with us refuses to provide us with fuel, we can produce it ourselves.
    [Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh, how many thousand centrifuges is needed to produce the fuel for a 1,000 megawatts power plant? Does it need to be four thousand centrifuges or three thousand is enough?
    [Aqazadeh] It depends on the type of the machine. I mean there are some old generation machines which require more. Because the amount of fuel it produces is low. Imagine if we inject 80 grams of UF6 in a chain to achieve five per cent enrichment we would get one eighth or one tenth of this amount. And in order to get the required fuel we would have to increase the number of chains. If the new generation machines, especially those which are Kevlar [as heard] and are of synthetic material and the world are relying on them, suddenly you see that the same machines can provide fuel for three or four power plants instead of one. It means that both their intake and output are great. Therefore this is an industry that we need to keep ourselves upgraded through research. We should work on new generations, technologies. I can tell our people that we have passed the stage of complete mastery over designing the machines.
    On indigenized nuclear technology
    [Aqazadeh] Today, we have very skilful forces in our organization who work on designing very advanced machines. If these machines are built, each of them can produce three to four times more than our current machines. This means that with one factory, we can provide the fuel for four or five power plants instead of one. This is a window of opportunity that leads us to an enormous scientific field. The most significant feature of this machine is that all of its parts – each centrifuge machine has 90 sensitive parts – design, assembling, production, installation, operation and fuel injection have been indigenized. Therefore the human intelligence put into these machines is developing day after day, taking us to a new world and new horizons.
    Each time I come to this site, almost every 15 days, I see that our friends here have come up with another innovation, new thought or new product. What we need is not just the machines; we have numerous needs, including valves and control systems for the machines. For a machine that spins 1000 times per minute, it is essential that we have access to its inside. We need to know what is going on inside the machine. We have to review its vibrations, its vacuum, its movements and the level of enrichment. We need to know whether the enrichment is being done correctly or not. Having access to the machines’ inside requires ultra-modern equipment. Thankfully, these equipments are being built in Iran today. We have an industry that has no dependence on other countries.
    [Anchorman] For the information of our people, could you please tell our viewers how much fuel a power plant needs per day?
    [Aqazadeh] We need nearly 30 tonnes of 3-per cent enriched uranium per year for a 1000MW power plant. Nuclear power plants have an advantage over fossil power plants. The advantage is that although the primary investment in nuclear plants is higher than fossil plants, the fuel expense is one-fifth. Another advantage of these power plants is their long life span.
    On fossil fuel power plants
    Before, this used to be about 30 years. Now, they’re being used for up to 50 years. When the life expectancy of a power plant increases, the expenditure-return ratio is reduced. At the same time, it has inexpensive fuel too. We presented a study to the Energy Ministry, their research centre. An economic study. It took about eight, nine months. The results were that, if the price of oil is about 34 dollars, we have to build at least 25,000, 26,000 MW-worth of nuclear power stations within the 20-Year Outlook Plan. If the price of oil passes the 40-dollar mark, then, no non-nuclear power plant is economical. And in view of the limitations that exist for the transport of fuel and [oil] products, such as gas-oil, natural gas, fuel oil, for fossil-[fuel] power plants, the country’s transport capacity is not adequate for such an outlook.
    If we foresee a 6-per cent annual growth, GNP, for the country – whereas in the 20-Year Outlook it’s been put at 8 per cent – we need about 120,000 MW-worth of power stations. At the moment, I think it stands at about 40,000 MW. In this study, which was carried out by the Energy Ministry [as heard], it says that, if we want to benefit from our economic outlook – and in the light of our potential and limitations in terms of fossil fuel – we should build at least 75,000 MW-worth of nuclear power stations.
    In other words, all the factors are dictating to the country now that, with the price of oil so high, at 50, 60, 70 dollars, it is not in any country’s interest to use this valuable resource on fossil-[fuel] plants, apart from the environmental limitations. And the provision of fossil fuel for the required number of power stations is impossible. If this were to be done, we’d have to become an importer in the very near future. Not only will all our exports stop, but we’ll even turn into an importer.
    Known oil reserves are on the decline today. One of the serious concerns that exist [changes thought] – in other words, the volume of discovered oil resources in proportion to oil consumption in the world as a whole is negative. And this reveals that you are faced with a rapidly declining curve in terms of the world’s oil reserves. There must definitely be a replacement energy.
    [Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh, a 1,000 MW power plant needs about 30 tonnes of nuclear fuel per year.
    Iran needs nuclear fuel in 20 years
    [Anchorman] We should increase our electricity production capacity by 20,000 MW in the next 20 years. This means that we should have 20 power plants each with the capacity of 1,000 MW. We should also produce 1,200 tons of fuel every year. How much centrifuge capacity is needed to produce this amount of fuel?
    [Aqazadeh] As I already said this depends on the type of machines we use. With the present generation of machines we can produce one-fifth of the needed fuel. I cannot exactly give you the answer, but if we know what type of machines we are talking about, then I can give you an answer.
    There are machines on which we are working. If we develop the appropriate machines, because of their great capabilities, we will quickly be in need of far less number of machines. We are considering a 20 year perspective. In view of the rapid development of new generation of machines in Iran, we may be able to say in the near future that we have achieved the capability to produce a generation of equipment that need far less number of machines. Based on our developed capabilities, we would then be able to speak more seriously about the 1,200 tons of fuel and that how much of it can be produced within the country.
    [Anchorman] Today, you mentioned that we have produced 270 tons of UF6. Don’t you think that Iran’s production of UF6 is increasing substantially, but the number of centrifuges is not sufficient enough to use all the produced UF6?
    [Aqazadeh] The uranium-related substances are such that they will not perish even if preserved for hundreds of years. Therefore, the UF6 that is produced in Iran can be preserved in their standard capsules for many years. Furthermore, it is true that we are storing some UF6 now, but in view of the development of Natanz facilities we will greatly need the produced UF6.
    Apart from that we have a long-term plan for the discovery of uranium. Our country is on a special belt that is extended from Australia to Turkey and parts of Europe [rich in uranium]. However, little has been done in the field of discovery. We first concentrated on developing the technology in the country. We wanted to see whether we were able to achieve the know-how. We have now planned for extensive discoveries. We should meet our uranium needs. We should develop the production cycle of the industry.
    On Esfahan’s UCF
    We will even have to build new UCF factories. We have to build a new factory in Natanz. However, we are moving in such a way that in parallel with these developments, we acquire the new generation of equipment as well. It’s vital that we update our know-how on equipment. This is an important horizon and we are not far from it.
    [Passage omitted: The anchorman reminding the viewers that the interview is being broadcast from Natanz].
    [Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh. Now that Iran is producing nuclear fuel at the industrial level, what is our rank at the club of countries which posses peaceful nuclear technology?
    [Aqazadeh]: We have more qualities than other countries. If you take a look at the seven or eight countries which produce nuclear fuel, you’ll realize that they don’t possess the full nuclear fuel cycle. Some of them don’t have UCF factories and have to import UF6. Most of these countries don’t have any uranium resources. This means that they can’t produce yellow cake. They import the yellow cake from countries such as Namibia, South Africa, Kazakhstan and other third world countries.
    [Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh are they incapable or does economic rationality dictate that this part of the resources [Aqazadeh interrupts]
    [Aqazadeh] No they don’t have the resources. For example Japan is conducting many activities for the production of nuclear fuel. However, it doesn’t even have a kilogram of uranium itself. So what has it done? It has become a partner in the uranium mines in Niger and it is exploiting their resources for itself. Some 80 per cent of France’s power plants are nuclear. But they don’t have a kilogram of uranium. They have become a partner in the uranium mines in Niger and even own the ones in Namibia and other places. However, the advantage which the Islamic Republic of Iran has is that due to the sanctions and the lack of cooperation which has existed, we were forced to acquire the full nuclear fuel cycle. [Aqazadeh giving technical information on the nuclear fuel cycle]
    As far as our position is concerned, in addition to the five nuclear countries, other producers [of nuclear fuel] are Japan. Similar to us, recently Brazil has began activities in regards to producing this fuel. There is us and one of two other countries such as India and Pakistan who don’t give their information out. Of course, our status in terms of domestic capabilities is higher than some of these countries.
    Iran’s big technology leap
    As a result, after the five members of the Security Council, which have nuclear weapons, there is Japan, Brazil and Iran. The other two countries have them but they are not a member of the NPT and are not under the supervision of the [IAEA] agency, as a result, we cannot count their activities as being official.
    [Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh. Following the ceremony which was held today it was announced that technically we have reached the stage where we can produce nuclear fuel at the industrial level. As for national support, the nuclear bell was rang by the country’s schools and human chains were formed around nuclear installations in some cities. As a result, we have made technical progress and enhanced our national support. If these two factors are put together, then it should send an important message for the countries which are against Iran’s nuclear programme.
    Considering the progress which has been made technically and in terms of national backing, do you think that the approach adopted toward and language used against Iran by the US and some European countries will change? Will they accept to live with a nuclear Iran? Or will they continue to exert pressure?
    [Aqazadeh]: The impression that I get is that these countries are aware of the importance of this technology more than us because they already posses it. They view the entry of a country such as the Islamic Republic of Iran into this arena as a major and important development. They weren’t expecting such a thing because there are many rich countries that can’t enter this arena even if they spend billions of dollars. This science cannot be easily acquired by countries. This capability which exists in Iranians was an unpredictable international development. It’s difficult for them to accept that a country has elevated itself to their level by relying on its own capabilities and power. However, the reality is that such a thing has happened. An Islamic Republic exists which has become nuclear and such a thing cannot be denied. As a result, I believe that they have to gradually digest such a thing. And they will do because as you can see since one-and-a-half years ago when we virtually suspended all of our activities, we have made such a big leap that the speed at which we moved was more than the predictions [they] made. During this time, we have completed the heavy water [reactor] in Esfahan, we’ve produced yellow cake at Bandar Abbas, we’re building a reactor in Arak and now we have started designing a 360-MW power plant.
    Iran’s nuclear power “reality”
    [Aqazadeh] They [West] can see that Iran is following this path in a fast pace and with steadfastness. Time is not against us and they can see that clearly. This is why they are issuing resolutions one after another and putting us under pressure to halt this trend and dissuade us. I think stopping this move is a very difficult task.
    What happened today in Natanz is an undeniable reality. One cannot deny all these facilities, equipment, installations and production machines; therefore this is a reality. I think the world should change its literature. After all, it is in their own interest to deal with Iran through interaction, dialogue and confidence-building rather than exerting pressure.
    What result have they gained so far? At least 90 per cent of the Iranian people strongly support the [nuclear] issue, despite the approval of the resolution and under these circumstances. This means that the people are tolerating these sanctions and limitations, because they believe that this is the true Iranian thinking, identity and belief. This has raised Iran’s position in the world ten times. [Passage omitted on Iranians being proud of the nuclear programme]
    Outside Iran, they [Western governments] know what has happened in the country. If they didn’t know that, they would not start make all this fuss. The bigness of the furore itself shows the importance of the issue. Do you think they would create all this furore and hold meetings one after another, take the issue to the UN Security Council, levy sanctions and exert pressure if this was an unimportant and small issue? The entire world sees that something has happened and has become a reality, what can they do about this reality?
    On UNSC, sanctions
    [Anchorman] You referred to the world changing its literature. We know that you meant America and some European states.
    [Aqazadeh] Yes, exactly. They are the ones we are dealing with.
    [Anchorman] We know that 180 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement openly supported Iran’s nuclear rights. What are your comments?
    [Aqazadeh] Yes, NAM states know that their future is tied to this case. That is to say that other countries know full well that if Iran is hurt in this case, their cases will be closed like ours.
    [Anchorman] So we are the frontrunner?
    [Aqazadeh] Yes exactly. We tell all those countries with which we have political ties that Iran is paying the price for them. We tell them that they should not think that they are helping Iran; they are in fact helping themselves. If we are hurt at this point and decided to withdraw from our position, their cases will be closed. We tell them that we are in fact paying the price for them and that by supporting us, they are in fact supporting their own cause. This is something that they clearly understand.
    [Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh in the past two resolutions 1737 and 1747, the most important parts of the sanctions focus on nuclear industry, apart from missile industry. They [West] have centred their attention on our nuclear industry and are insisting that Iran should be limited and that financial and technical sanctions should be levied on us. In view of Iran’s progress despite these sanctions, why do you think they still insist on continuing this path and issuing more resolutions?
    [Aqazadeh] I believe that the people who are there [UNSC] have so far tried to pay the price from other countries’ pockets. That is to say, if they decide to levy economic sanctions on us, Europe will have to give up its 20-billion-dollar trade with us. If they mention oil [in their resolutions], then they will have to raise their tolerance threshold to over 100 dollars per barrel. If they try to suspend investments in Iran, they and their companies will lose even more. It is not like if they lose 20 billion dollars somewhere they will be able to compensate it somewhere else immediately. They will lose this amount in their economy. This is why they have focused on a number of issues for which we do not depend on them at all. Sanctions are not something new. We have been under nuclear sanctions since the beginning of the revolution.
    On sanctions
    [Aqazadeh] However, we eventually reached a point where we realized that we shouldn’t rely on others. We realized that if we want to have a nuclear country, we should stand on our own feet. The entire system, either the politicians or the people and experts, deeply believes that we should not rely on anyone else, even our friends, if we want to stand on our own.
    This is not a kind of industry that others, not even our friends, will give us. Therefore we need to stand on our own. This is exactly why the president, as the head of the government, says that these sanctions will have no effect. This is because he has his own calculations. They [West] have sanctioned us in nuclear and missile fields; well we had already been sanctioned in those fields. They have sanctioned us and banned us from receiving World Bank loans or low-interest loans; well they were never giving us those loans. If our economists, bank officials and analysts discuss the scope and details of the sanctions they will see that the words used in those sanctions eventually refer to World Bank and low-interest loans, which we are not receiving anyway. This was one of the issues.
    Another issue is that they are more focused on sensationalizing the domestic atmosphere of the country rather than the sanctions themselves. This is one of the West’s very serious cases which is still open. You can see that all [Western] media are trying to say that Iran is paying a high price because of its nuclear case. They have even directly accused the president and the government and say that this government has raised the stakes. They are changing the domestic climate and are creating a multiple-voice atmosphere. They are trying very hard.
    When they [West] find a number of people who are ready to write or say certain things, they are willing to invest in those people seriously just to prove that there are multiple voices in Iran. But suddenly moves such as 22-Bahman 1385 [11 February 07] makes them realize that their investments have not worked.
    On people’s unity
    [Aqazadeh] What I want to say is that two things can create problems for us. One of them is that if the people’s support drops and the other one is that if they [West] hear different voices from our officials. These will be problematic.
    Based on my years of experience, I believe that if we take these two issues into consideration, i.e. people’s solidarity and having a single voice, no other element can disturb this [trend]. Moreover our people have started to understand. Any nation has its own sensitive historical junctures which is very important and determining for all of the people. [Passage omitted on people’s unity].
    On new power plants
    [Anchorman – continues] Mr Aqazadeh, you announced today that you are going to publish tender bid for building two 1,000 MW power plants. You also talked about a 360 MW light water power plant which is being built. Have we really reached the stage of building nuclear power plants? Are we still depending on other countries for some matters?
    [Aqazadeh] Our fist move was to think of fuel cycle. I believed that without a fuel cycle, it was not so effective to work on power plants. This was the essence of the matter. When the move found a momentum, my second plan became the development of power plants. Because of our increasing demand for power plants we cannot merely rely on the domestic products and at the same time we cannot become totally dependent on foreign countries. Therefore, we worked in parallel. We started to work on a 360 MW power plant as our base. And at the same time we put the development of power plants on our agenda. So, we prepared the documents for two 1,000 MW power plants and the tender bid for it will be announced one of these days. A key matter is finding the right location for power plants. Precise studies are needed as regards the network, water and earthquake. We need a comprehensive study for distributing this 20,000 MW in the country. We started working on the tender bid. So the plan for the future is using foreign power plants and developing domestic capabilities. [Passage omitted: other countries have done the same]
    [Anchorman] In a meeting with film directors you said that you have untold stories about the nuclear issue. Is this a right time for talking about some of those untold stories?
    On bitter and sweet moments
    [Aqazadeh] No I don’t think it is the right time. You know that there were many fluctuations in these years. naturally this exerted pressures on [the Iranian Atomic Energy] Organization. There were doubts and worries. [Thanks to my experience in these years] I can say that I believe that we do not anyone anything for this nuclear technology. We only owe it to the Supreme Leader. There were moments when decision making was very difficult. And one person had to make the decision. In those junctures we needed an intelligent, wise decision. I was in all the decision-making sessions. There were moments that the leader’s decision prevented us from becoming frustrated. Therefore, I see myself and this industry indebted to the Supreme Leader. Otherwise, this industry does not owe anything to anyone. People have worked here in all modesty day in and day out. The amount of work done in Natanz last year is unique in the world. A monthly progress of 13 per cent in such a great industry is unprecedented. There were bitter and sweet moments. There were times my colleagues were threatened or came under pressure. Some people would say it was costly for the country. Someone else said something else. We left all that behind. But this is one pat of it.
    On hard work
    Another part I want to say does not contain any complaints. What I want to say one day is how we attained this knowledge. Some of the parts we made were rejected hundreds of times. This is tiring but there was a will. We created a new structure based on a new outlook. What I want to say one day is my memoirs of all these wonderful things my friend. This will give you an idea of what a 15-hours shift work means.
    Most of our friends here work round the clock. They live in dorms here. You have seen these here.
    [Anchorman] It reminds me of university dorms.
    [Aqazadeh] Here no one works in terms of money or time. They are motivated. And they have beliefs and principles. [Passage omitted: praising his young colleagues] Well, we can’t say many things about how we reached this knowledge and technology and how we made fundamental changes to parts. [Passage omitted: enrichment being a specialization] This is a specialization the US and Japan have for themselves and we have for ourselves. This is what has been gained through hard work.
    On cooperation with IAEA
    These are the things that we have achieved through hard work. If one day we can put these things on paper and illustrate them on paper it would not only be interesting for our people but also such documentations would be a useful guide for any other major work in the future. These are the things that we are placing importance on at present.
    [Anchorman] Very well. Mr Aqazadeh in the March meeting of the Board of Governors it was decided that based on resolution 1737, out of 55 projects that Iran is cooperating with the Agency, the agency suspends its cooperation with Iran in 22 projects. Well, you just mentioned that the nuclear know-how has become indigenous in Iran, so how effective can such decisions be in impeding the speed of our nuclear work?
    [Aqazadeh] We can define our cooperation with the agency in different parts. One of the main parts is that the agency, based on its natural obligations, is interested in making sure that all security measures are observed in power plants, nuclear installations and enrichment facilities. This is part of its obligation. And as far as this aspect of work is concerned the Agency is interested in maintaining such cooperation. For example let’s assume that the Agency wants to work on one or let’s say ten projects concerning the security measures of Bushehr nuclear plant. Through this route it can access the details of the security system of the power plant.
    This is one part of our cooperation with the Agency. Another part of our cooperation with the Agency is based on the agency’s obligation to help other countries. For instance if a country wants to build an accelerator or do a scientific work it is the Agency’s obligation to help that country. Another part of work is that any country has certain capabilities. It can offer its capabilities in the region and the world and to share such capabilities. We have had cooperation with the agency in these three fields in about 55 projects.
    The Agency has maintained all the projects relating to security measures. It has not suspended any of them. The ones which it has stopped relates to those areas where for instance we wanted to participate in a seminar or a conference and wanted to present papers. The Agency used to help us in these matters. For example a working committee was supposed to be held somewhere, the Agency is now reviewing these matters case by case.
    On role of universities
    These are parts that have no security dimensions. It’s not as if we really need these but these are a part of the IAEA’s duties after all. They should, on this or that investment, in this or that technology [changes thought] – for example, imagine that the IAEA has helped us on the Yazd (?cyclotrone) in the past. It has halted these too. When we say in our remarks that if the IAEA, contrary to its charter and contrary to its intrinsic duties, is going to reduce its cooperation with the IAEA, well, we, too, will have to reduce them. [Passage omitted: Cooperation is in the interest of both sides.]
    [Enadi] Mr Aqazadeh, let me ask you the last question. On 20 Farvardin [9 April] last year, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s attainment of 3.5 per cent enrichment and the commissioning of the first cascade of 164 centrifuges was celebrated. And today Iran’s entry into the industrial production of nuclear fuel was celebrated, again on 20 Farvardin. What are your future programmes on our movement towards nuclearization?
    [Aqazadeh] Well, I think that the organization has carried out a large part of the work and mission with which it was tasked. From now on, we’re thinking more in terms of expansion; expanding power stations, expanding enrichment plants, because we’ve put the hard bit, the mountain pass, behind us. Or optimization and bringing things up to date. These are our future programmes. But one thing that I’m thinking about a great deal now is that, when a nuclear industry is coming into being on this vast scale, the backing for it in terms of learning [Persian: poshtvaneh-ye elmi] has to be supplied. [Passage omitted: Universities have to become involved to this end.]
    We’ve started a vast cooperation with universities. I did something innovative this year, [correcting himself] last year. I sent about 100 key and very important projects, which produce learning, to all the heads of universities in the form of a booklet. And I made it clear that, if you provide these research capabilities for these projects, you can sign agreements with us.
    Research academies
    First of all, the money is provided. Secondly, there is a timetable. You, too, will have commitments. It has aims. It’s clear what we’re trying to attain. And there are very serious issues in it. This is one point.
    The second point is that I’ve tried to have the culture of nuclear technology extend to universities. It should be part of university syllabuses. Courses should be created that have nuclear aspects. Most important of all was the creation of a research centre [Persian: pazhuheshgah]. Fortunately, with the cooperation of the Science Ministry, we’ve organized a research centre in the organization [Atomic Energy Organization] with eight research academies [Persian: pazhuheshkadeh]. And they are even authorized to take M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and for them to obtain degrees and to graduate from these research academies. And the research centre, as a whole, has a charter and an academic board that now falls under the Science Ministry so that the laws of universities apply. This gives us the opportunity to constantly produce learning [Persian: elm] at this research centre. And I consider this to be one of the country’s necessities. And I’ve given a lot of time to it so that, God willing, we can fully lay the groundwork for it. In a few years time, we’ll open our eyes and see that we’re producing learning. This is very important to me.
    [Anchorman] Thank you very much. [Passage omitted: Closing remarks.]

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