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Iran ups nuke technology

VIENNA -- Technicians upgrading Iran's main uranium enrichment facility have tripled their installations of high-tech machines that could be used in a nuclear weapons program to more than 600 in the last three months, diplomats said Wednesday.

They say the machines are not yet producing enriched uranium and some may be only partially installed. Still, the move is the latest sign that 10 years of diplomatic efforts have failed to persuade Tehran to curb its uranium enrichment.

The installations also suggest that Iran possesses both the technology to mass-produce centrifuges that can enrich much faster than its present machines and the ability to evade international sanctions meant to keep it from getting materials it needs to do so.

Iran insists it has no interest in nuclear weapons and says it's enriching uranium only for nuclear power and other nonmilitary applications.

But the United States, Israel and their allies fear Iran may use the technology to create uranium that can be used in an atomic bomb. -- AP

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