The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) quarterly report says Iran has installed about a thousand advanced uranium centrifuges at the Natanz underground complex and is set to test them.
The IAEA report, the first since Hassan Rouhani won Iran’s presidential election in June, also says the Islamic state has started making fuel assemblies for a reactor which the West fears could produce nuclear bomb material.
The report showed Iran continuing to press ahead with its disputed nuclear programme at a time when the outside world waits to see if Rouhani will act to ease tension with Iran’s Western critics.
Meanwhile, Iran’s controversial nuclear stockpile has grown little since the previous IAEA report in May. However it remains below Israel’s stated “red line” that could provoke military action.
Israel has threatened to attack Iran if diplomacy fails to rein in its programme and it amasses enough medium-enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon, if processed further.
Iran says its nuclear energy programme is for civilian power generation and medical reasons only and rejects Western allegations that it is looking to make nuclear weapons.