Diplomat confirms Iran nuke upgrade

VIENNA (AP) - A senior diplomat is confirming Tehran's announcement that it has started upgrading its nuclear program. He says that U.N. officials just back from Iran saw new machines positioned to vastly accelerate output of material usable both for reactor fuel and nuclear warheads.

The diplomat said Thursday that the officials saw a small number of advanced centrifuges for enriching uranium at the Natanz plant southeast of Tehran. His comments follow Iran's announcement the day before.

But while Iran said installation had begun, the diplomat said the officials only saw machines positioned for installation Wednesday.

The machines are much faster than ones now enriching. Iran says it only wants reactor fuel but the centrifuges can also produce fissile warhead material.

The diplomat demanded anonymity because his information was confidential.


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