updated 3/29/2004 6:09:29 AM ET 2004-03-29T11:09:29

Iran has stopped building centrifuges to win the world’s trust over its nuclear program, the head of its Atomic Energy Organization said Monday.

Gholamreza Aghazadeh said the suspension of the construction of centrifuges had been ordered by the country’s Supreme National Security Council, Iran’s top decision-making body.

Iran suspended uranium enrichment last year under strong international pressure over the aims and dimensions of its nuclear program. But it continued to build centrifuges, which are used in enrichment, despite criticism that this violated the spirit of its pledge to cease enrichment.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has voluntarily expanded (the enrichment) suspension to include the production of components and assembly,” state television quoted Aghazadeh as saying on its Web site.

An official of the Atomic Energy Organization said this referred to centrifuges and that it had been done to build greater trust with the U.N. agency, the International Atomic Energy Organization, and with Iran’s European partners.

“So far, we had suspended injecting gas into centrifuges as part of a deal reached with the European countries,” the official told The Associated Press, referring to the enrichment suspension. “Now, we have voluntarily suspended production and assembly of centrifuge machines.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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