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France: Iran seems on track for nukes by mid-2013

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PARIS (AP) — France's foreign minister says Iran appears on track to reach the ability to produce a nuclear weapon by the first half of next year.

France is one of six countries that have negotiated with Tehran over its nuclear program, which Iran insists is peaceful.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Europe-1 radio Sunday that unspecified experts "have established in an absolutely indisputable way" that Iran has compiled a full array of centrifuges that "apparently will allow the ability to go toward possession of the nuclear weapon by the first half of next year, the end of the first half." He did not elaborate.

Western nations fear Iran may turn its uranium enrichment program toward making weapons, a growing concern as Tehran expands the number of machines it uses to enrich uranium.

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