In an escalation of the confrontation over its nuclear program, the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made an announcement about Iran’s nuclear program having reached an industrial stage. While this announcement did not clear the air over what exactly being at an industrial stage mean, and with no immediate explanations of what the number of cascading centrifuges were, it did create an effect that Iran is really not fazed by international sanctions. It is of course also possible that this is part of an
internal power fight in Iran between the President on one side, and the all-powerful clergy on the other
side. Even though both of them see themselves as powerful in Iran, the clergy has always been the true power center, and does not take too kindly to an elected President trying to project his own power center.
This tussle has been going on for some time, and displays itself as public statements by officials. Hence, the head of Iran’s Supreme Council projects himself as the true spokesperson for the nuclear program, while the President makes all the jingoistic and shrill statements on Iran.
In the latest statement by the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, the number of cascading centrifuges were projected to be upto 50,000, a figure that is very worrisome as it is far above the limit needed for power plants, and very close the level of purity needed for a nuclear program.
The only thing that makes sense to do in this kind of situation is to keep the pressure on Iran, through throttling its quest for high technology, and depriving it of the infrastructure needed to keep its oil exports at a high level. The second point is to pressure its collaborators, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and others to restrict their cooperation in developing Iran’s oil and gas fields.
Read the CNN article:

A day after Iran announced it had begun production of nuclear fuel on an “industrial level,” the head of the country’s atomic energy organization said Iran had plans to greatly expand its nuclear program. “Iran’s uranium enrichment program in Natanz does not only aim to install 3,000 centrifuges, but 50,000 centrifuges,” Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. Iranian plans to expand its enrichment process to 50,000 centrifuges goes well beyond any previously announced aspirations by Tehran. “I did not want to create any uncertainty about the nuclear program,” Aghazadeh said. “But it is a fact that all of our infrastructure (in Natanz) … is planned for 50,000 centrifuges.”

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