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Iran official concerned for nuclear power plant

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In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaks to a group of officials and scientists of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Iran’s Supreme Leader urged Iran’s negotiators Wednesday not to give in to “coercive words” from world powers at talks over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran is celebrating its National Nuclear Technology Day as talks with world powers over its contested program continue in Vienna. A Portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini hangs in background.(AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)

In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaks to a group of officials and scientists of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Iran’s Supreme Leader urged Iran’s negotiators Wednesday not to give in to “coercive words” from world powers at talks over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran is celebrating its National Nuclear Technology Day as talks with world powers over its contested program continue in Vienna. A Portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini hangs in background.(AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s nuclear chief has raised concerns for the fate of the country’s only atomic power plant amid talks with the West about a final deal to curb the Iranian nuclear program.

Ali Akbar Salehi says the country needs 30,000 more centrifuges to enrich uranium and produce enough nuclear fuel to run the Bushehr power plant for a year. The plant was made with Russian help and has been online since 2011.

Salehi’s remarks were carried on Monday by the government-run “Iran” newspaper.

World powers negotiating a final deal with Iran want a reduction — not an increase — in the number of centrifuges Tehran is operating to remove concerns that the Islamic Republic may use its enrichment capabilities to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Associated Press

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