Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. / Hasan Sarbakhshian, AP
LONDON â?? Iran is attempting to speed up its uranium-enrichment program by upgrading technology at a key nuclear facility, diplomats with knowledge of the matter have told the Associated Press.
The diplomats were not named because they are not authorized to speak about the matter.
The diplomats said Iran has told the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency that it wants to install thousands of high-technology machines at its main enriching site at Natanz, in central Iran.
The machines can enrich two or three times faster than the present equipment being used by Tehran.
Uranium can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors and nuclear warheads.
Separately, Reuters reported Thursday that it had seen a document sent by Iran to the IAEA which said that "centrifuge machines type IR2m will be used in Unit A-22" at Iran's facility in Natanz. Reuters said the details of the letter were divulged by a diplomat who declined to be identified.
On Thursday, Greg Webb, a press representative for the IAEA in Vienna, declined to comment on what the unnamed diplomats told the AP or on the document made available to Reuters.
Iran has maintained that it is refining uranium to meet its nuclear-energy needs, and that its nuclear program is being developed entirely for peaceful purposes. Many in the international community have raised doubts about that pledge.
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