atomic ambition. iran says it's almost ready to complete the nuclear cycle. the country has announced that it has introduced new advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment facility in the central part of the country. the news comes as a slap in the face to western countries which have been using the threat of more sanctions to force iran to abandon its enrichment program. nhk world has more from tehran. this came in increasing defiance. here is the report from tehran. >> reporter: iranian president
mahmoud ahmadinejad announced the new centrifuges at a speech at the country's atomic energy agency on wednesday. he said the new centrifuges at the uranium enrichment facilities in natanz have three times the production capacity compared to the older centrifuges. earlier, the president attended a ceremony where he loaded the country's first-ever domestically made nuclear fuel rod into a reactor near tehran. iran says the fuel rods and the reactor will be used to produce radio isotopes to treat cancer patients and for other peaceful research. western countries are calling on iran to stop the enrichment, which they say could be used for
military purposes, or face more economic sanctions. ahmadinejad's announcement is expected to spark a strong reaction from the west and israel. mojtaba sanati, reporting for nhk world, tehran. on its nuclear program, the eu is considering the offer. iranian media says the secretary of the supreme national security council who also serves as the chief nuclear negotiator sent a letter to catherine ashton. the her says iran is willing to resume talks in a manner that's best for both sides. it suggests that success will depending on whether the west adopts a constructive attitude. ashton says she's evaluating the contents of the letter and will consult with the united states, russia and other partners. the eu coordinator says they will not resume talks unless iran is prepared to discuss concrete confidence-building measures without preconditions. last month eu announced plans to ban iranian oil imports in its toughest economic sanctions to
date. >> japan's prescribe has urged israel to avoid using military force to stop iran's nuclear development. >> he wants cooperation including strengthening economic sanctions. >> and would be extremely dangerous. noda called on israel to seek a diplomatic and peaceful resolution. >> in other news, investigators in bangkock are hunting for clues following explosions that wounded five people.
the assailant, the unite and israel have suggested the blasts could be linked to earlier incidents that took place in india and georgia. nhk world has more. >> reporter: 24 hours after three explosions rocked central bangkok, two of the three suspects have been arrested. police say both men hold iranian passports. they've been charged with causing an illegal explosion in a public area and attempting to kill police officers. the blasts happened one day after a car bomb went off in india and another device was discovered in georgia. israeli diplomats were apparently the target in both cases. israel accused iran and it lebanese ally hezbollah of being responsible. the united states has implied that iran may also be connected
to the incident in bangkok. >> these events do come on the heels of other disrupted attacks targeted at israel and western interests including an iranian sponsored attack in baku, azerbaijan and a hezbollah-linked attack in bangkok, thailand. >> reporter: iran denied involvement calling it an israeli plot to damage iran's relationship with thailand. security in bangkok has been tightened since last month when a man was arrested for possession of explosives. the man was expected to having links to hezbollah, but a thai government spokesperson told nhk world that the latest event was unrelated. the bomb blasts in thailand happened as confrontation between iran and israel intensifies over iran's nuclear development. all eyes are now focused on investigations being conducted by thai authorities in their bid
to find out more about those believed to be responsible. reporting for nhk world, bangkok. >> investors are worried that will won't be enough oil from iran. iran state run media said that the country would stop all exports to six nations including greece italy and spain and then sent crude oil prices surging on wednesday. for the first time in a month. but the market calmed down after the iranians government denied exports to the eu.it has not yet the ban will come into effect in july. iran has been looking for ways to hinder the eu economies.
>> and keeping ana close eye on what measures iran will take to deal with the oil embargo. the euro zone is expected to finalize a bail-out package. >> they had planned to meet but decided to postpone it saying greece needs to satisfy all conditions before receiving more financial support. after the conference call, the prescribe of -- released a statement. it says that progress has been made on the remaining two conditions. they include the submission of a written pledge by the country's ruling coalition parties that
do not lay out effective measures against the tsunami. we also apologize for inappropriate wording saying it is not necessary to prepare for long-term power loss. >> also spoke about the handling of data from a computer forecasting system called speedy. the system is designed to predict the speed -- spread of radioactive substances. he said it is a misunderstanding to say that a faster evacuation would have been possible.heatshd ve bn sclosed ier. investats e ntg here's more.
y st f ver employee if the performance -- the workers' cage could go up. another concern was the impact the new system would have when hiring new graduates >> the company knew if i refrained fromheouer woer its structure would become distorte even after it raised retirage, 35% said they are against th obligation to employ people fo titewhe yi t res so the company introducesed a pay system for veteran emoys. if the performance -- th culd another concern was the imct thnesyem would have when hiring new graduates >> the company knew if it refrained from the younger workers.
its structwoulme distorted. even after it raised retirage, but that came at a price. in order to keep it close from ballooning, the farm had no choice but to make greater use of workers. >> after raising the retirement age, there wasn't a big change in the number of workers. buwe had to ange some workers from full time to contract. we managed to sustain labor costs withoumuch increase. >> a number of europea unieha rseth rerent age in the face of fiscal austerity over the past several years. welfare policies for elderly have reached their limits.
many western nations forbid employer from laying off workers our cutting wages based on age. britain, germany and france have no mandatory retirement system. in the u.s. employees can keep working if they are doing a good job razz of how old they are. japan's but still the traditional lifetime employment is at the heart of this. manyapesbeevth coans ou te re of the workers for their entire careers.
syria's state run television says the government of al assad will hold a referendum on a afcotiti ofeua 26th. the move comes as a government is intensifying its military offense on the city of homs. the draft constitution states the teref e esen lle veyears with a two term limit. the government apparently aims to avoid pressure from western nations crackdown on civilians by showing progress toward demockization. an explosion has hit a major pipeline in the city of homs. the cause of the blast is unpe. video footage reportedly showed black smoke rising from a pipeline and blanketing the city. governmentorces have been intensifying the opposition stronghold for more than ten days. there has been a series of blast in pipelines since the military cracked down.
veme a hding towards the city center. since protests began last march. in an interviewi n, the former director of the israeli intelligence agency warned of chaos in the middle east. he is concerned what could happen if the -- fell in neighboring syria. ihi is ryanro to have a chaos in syria. there may be a leadership vacuum. who will be the leader of syria? >> he also expressed concern that the ongoing arrest in syria could lean into weapons falling into the hands of hezbollah that is hostile to israel. said that israel cannot ovlo siatnshathat the military balance in the middle east. he has suggested that israel might take some sort of military
action to safeguard his security. the head of japan's nuclear safety commission says he acknowledges for safety are insufficient and need to be reviewed. made a comment dealing with th fukushima iichi accint. system on the way bringing in more rounds of heavy snow. strong winds accompanies that as well. that can mean low visibility. back across the continent that is going be quite settled and dry.
these are going to intensify into friday. down here, showers from vietnam as well as cambodia and heavier rain is going be focusing once again that will be upping the risk of landslides and for flooding to occur. it is a very foggy morning for you. into north america, a couple of snowstorms here, too. a coastal rain as it moves in in the next 24 hours. another little low here bringing rain to the baja peninsula later on in the day before it drops about 40 centimeters of snow in the mountains. then we have potential for more
severe storms. possibly a wintery mix. snow showers dashing across the great lakes region and maybe ice and freezing rain for you. here are your temperatures. it's going be a wet day. getting rain also 22 with sunshine for you in los angeles. i want to show you what this storm has been doing. we will go first to poland and run the video. heavy snow and icy roads have caused lots of traffic two minibuses collided.
loading the first fuel rods into a reactor. it has introduced new advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment facility in the central part of the country. speeds up the process. another 3,000 conventional centrifuges have been added to the 6,000 at the facility. the first fuel rods have been loaded into a reactor for tre treating cancer patients and other peaceful research. he noted that the nux lar development is overseen by the international atomic energy agency. they say it could be used for military purposes. do stay with us.