Iran must drop its demand to have thousands of the centrifuges used in uranium enrichment if it wants its nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 world powers to result in a lasting deal, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
Fabius told French radio yesterday that a few hundred centrifuges are enough for Iran, noting that “the number of centrifuges which allow enrichment [is a] fundamental point” that reveals the differences between Iran and the powers negotiating with it.
Iran is believed to have 19,000 installed centrifuges, with around 10,000 operating.
Iran asserts that its nuclear programme aims to generate nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but the West says that their programme seeks to develop nuclear weapons.
In November, Iran signed an agreement with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France and China – in addition to Germany. The temporary agreement entailed reducing Iran’s uranium enrichment activities in return for a partial lifting of the sanctions imposed on the country. July 20 is the deadline for reaching an agreement.