Heads of the three branches of Iranian government meet to discuss crucial issues of national importance; Manouchehr Mottaki: Arrested Americans to face trial; Iran plans to use new generation of centrifuge enrichment by 2011
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  • The heads of 3 branches of government met at the Iranian Presidential Office on December 13. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chief of the Judiciary, Sadeq Larijani and Majlis Speaker, Ali Larijani discussed important political and economic issues facing the country in the meeting as reports noted. It is the second occasion in this month that the heads of the three branches of government convened a meeting to discuss such issues. The Subsidy Bill which has become a contentious issue between the Majlis and the administration is said to have featured prominently in these talks.1

    Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr stated that three Americans arrested in July 2009 for allegedly crossing the border from northern Iraq would be put to trial. Mottaki noted that these men had “entered Iran with suspicious aims,” and therefore “the judiciary will try them.” The minister did not specify the charges. However, his remarks made it clear that the three Americans accused of espionage would be litigated — a charge that can amount to death sentence in Iran.2

    In other developments, Iran expects to use a new generation of uranium centrifuges which it has been testing for about two years now, for full-scale nuclear enrichment by March 2011. Vice President, Ali Akbar Salehi stated that, “We are producing new generation of centrifuges named IR3 and IR4 ... We plan to use them by 2011 after eliminating problems and defects.” In October 2009, Iranian government stated that it planned to use a new generation of faster centrifuges to refine uranium at its new enrichment site near the central city of Qom. Nuclear experts are of the view that the new model of centrifuges is capable of increasing the output rate of Iran’s current P-1 machine, an outmoded, breakdown-prone vintage from the 1970s.3