VIENNA: Iran has begun installing next-generation equipment at one of its main nuclear plants, a new UN atomic agency report said on Thursday, five days before talks with world powers.
“On 6 February 2013, the Agency observed that Iran had started the installation of IR-2m centrifuges” at the Natanz plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency report said.
“This is the first time that centrifuges more advanced than the IR-1 have been installed” at the plant, it said.
The quarterly report seen by AFP also said however that Iran has not started operating any new equipment at its Fordo plant.
Fordo is of more concern to the international community than Natanz, since Fordo is used to enrich uranium to fissile purities of 20 percent and Natanz mostly to five percent.
The ability to enrich to 20 per cent is technically speaking considerably closer to 90 per cent, the level needed for a nuclear weapon.
Iran denies seeking atomic weapons but many in the international community suspect otherwise, and the UN Security Council has passed several resolutions calling on Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment.
The report came ahead of a new meeting between Iran and six world powers, the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, in Kazakhstan on February 26.