Iran, in defiance of the international community, is in the process of upgrading its main uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, according to Western diplomats.
Technicians in Iran are installing new high-tech machines to replace the more than 12,000 older and more inefficient machines. The technicians have tripled their installation of the machines in the past three months to 600, the Associated Press reported.
The latest news follows the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) February quarterly report, that said inspectors counted 180 of the new high-tech IR-2m advanced enrichment centrifuges at Natanz.
The new report also comes as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the uranium-rich West African nation of Niger this week.
Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons and says its nuclear program has peaceful goals. The international community, led by six nations–the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany–has been attempting to persuade Iran to end the nuclear program during diplomatic talks. The most recent round of talks in Kazakhstan, however, ended without progress.