TEHRAN: Iran will need 19 times more nuclear centrifuges than Washington is seeking to restrict it to in a long-term deal with major powers, its supreme leader said on Tuesday.
"Their aim is that we accept a capacity of 10,000 separative work units, which is equivalent to 10,000 centrifuges of the older type that we already have," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on his website, referring to the machines used in uranium enrichment.
"Our officials say we need 190,000 centrifuges. Perhaps not today, but in two to five years that is the country's absolute need," said Khamenei, who has the final word on all matters of state.
Uranium enrichment is the sensitive process at the heart of talks between Iran and the powers in Vienna that can produce fuel for nuclear powers stations or, in highly extended form, the core of an atomic bomb. (AFP)