TEHRAN, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran needs 190,000 separative work units (SWUs) for uranium enrichment, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by state IRIB TV on Tuesday.
Enrichment capacity of the Islamic republic is one of the major differences between Iran and the West, Khamenei said, adding that "They seek to make Iran accept 10,000 SWUs, which means the products of 10,000 centrifuges of older type that we already have. "
However, according to the country's relevant officials, absolute need of the country stands at 190,000 SWUs, he said.
On Tuesday, Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Salehi told semi-official ISNA news agency that 190,000 SWUs do not necessarily mean 190,000 centrifuges.
Separative Work (SW) stands for the effort necessary to separate U235 and U238. It is measured in kilograms of separative work (kg SW). The term Separative Work Unit (SWU) is also used where 1 SWU equals 1 kg SW.
Iranian officials have reiterated that the country needs more nuclear fuel for its Bushehr nuclear power plant and for the plants that Tehran plans to build in future.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced on June 23 that Iran and Russia had agreed to finalize a deal for the construction of two nuclear power plants in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr.
Research and development in nuclear activities is another area of discussion between Iran and the powers, which should be observed as Iran's right in its nuclear program, Khamenei was quoted as saying by IRIB.
He also said the demand of the West to shut down Iran's underground uranium enrichment facility of Fordow is "laughable" since they cannot destroy it.
For sure, Iran's nuclear negotiators will not allow any violation of Iran's nuclear rights in ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers, the Iranian leader stressed.
As for western sanction pressures against the Islamic republic over the country's nuclear issue, he said "As we have repeated before, the nuclear issue is merely an excuse" for West's pressures on Iran. "If there isn't a nuclear issue, they will fabricate other excuses like human rights, women's rights etc," he stated.
Western sanction pressures "should be resisted and nullified" and "as PresidentHassan Rouhani said, the economy should be planned with the assumption that the enemy will not remove any bit of sanctions" against the country, Khamenei said.
Iran and the so-called P5+1 group, five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, started new round of talks in Vienna on Wednesday to make diplomacy efforts to find a solution to Tehran's nuclear program.
The talks seek a comprehensive deal which would address international concerns over Tehran's disputed nuclear program and put an end to the decade-old standoff. The ongoing negotiations are supposed to be the last opportunity to reach a final deal by July 20, when the Geneva interim deal is set to expire.
In November 2013, Iran and the P5+1 group reached a landmark interim deal in Geneva, under which Iran would suspend some sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanction relief by western nations.
The talks are believed to be a tough diplomatic process due to the remaining big gaps, and there was no significant progress in last round of talks in Vienna.
Western powers demand that Iran significantly scale back its nuclear program to address the world concern of its nuclear program, while Tehran insists its nuclear right is peaceful.