Report: Iran stepped up nuclear fuel production


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran has stepped up its production of nuclear fuel, according to a report by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

The Islamic Republic now has 7,200 installed centrifuges, which reportedly could fuel two nuclear weapons a year, at its underground bunker in Natanz, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Friday.

But the IAEA found no evidence that the fuel has reached the stage where it is pure enough to make a bomb; that could take several months.

IAEA inspectors for more than a year have been blocked from visiting an Iranian nuclear reactor, which could be modified to produce weapons-grade plutonium, according to the report. The U.N. Security Council has ordered Iran to stop enriching uranium.

Iran also has flouted three Security Council resolutions requiring the nation to answer questions about reports that its scientists have researched nuclear warhead design.

The IAEA’s regular quarterly report was released a week before elections in Iran.

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