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UN atomic agency: Iran ups nuke activity
Iran believed to be step closer to creating reactor fuel, core of nuclear warheads; Nuclear watchdog agency worried; Iran still claims enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes
The UN's atomic energy agency says Iran has prepared more than 1,000 advanced uranium enriching machines to be started up. The move raises concerns among countries that think Tehran wants to make nuclear arms.

 

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A report released Wednesday from the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has put 1,008 of the advanced centrifuges under vacuum. Such a move is normally one of the last steps before the machines start spinning uranium gas into the material that can be used either as reactor fuel or as the core of nuclear warheads, depending on its enrichment level.

 

Iran says it is enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes and does not want nuclear arms.

 

Iran already is running more than 15,000 older machines. The new centrifuges are three to four times more effective.

 

Earlier Wednesday, Iran and the IAEA set a September 27th date to hold the first round of renewed talks on the country's nuclear program since relatively moderate Hassan Rohani took office as Iranian president. Prior to this upcoming meeting, 10 rounds of unfrutiful discussions were held between the two sides, starting in early 2012.

 

 

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