Iran plans to install 6,000 nuclear centrifuges. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced the news today — Iran's "National Day of Nuclear Technology." Today, state television plays patriotic music, and Iranian children chant "nuclear energy is our natural right" in honor of the national holiday. I wasn't exactly sure what a centrifuge does, but it sounded serious so I checked into it.
OK, here's the low down: centrifuges are used to enrich uranium, which can be used to build nuclear bombs. Iran probably already has 3,000 centrifuges, and tripling the number will significantly increase its nuclear capacity. Iran says it's innocently pursuing alternative nuclear energy, and that the country has the right to proceed with peaceful enrichment. But, the UN Security Council has demanded it cease enrichment, and has repeatedly sanctioned Iran.
Whether or not Iran has intentions to build a nuclear weapon, it's clearly intent on defying Western powers and international pressure. China announced today that officials from world powers will meet in Shanghai on April 16 to discuss Iran's nuclear program. Will sanctions help convince an Iran content on not making concessions?