- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2013

Iranian technicians have tripled the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges they have installed over the past three months to 600, diplomats warned Wednesday.

The high-tech machines aren’t yet producing enrichment uranium, the diplomats said in a CBS report, and some are only partly installed. But the report is worrisome, in that it is another sign of Iran’s move to develop nuclear weaponry, as the West fears.

Iran continues to deny its nuclear program is for anything but peaceful purposes. Just this week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad characterized Iran as the peacemaker in the region and decried Western attempts to argue differently.

The “foreign presence” in the Persian Gulf is the real source of the region’s instability, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, on CBS. Iran has “always guarded peace and security,” especially in the heavily traversed and strategically crucial Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world’s oil supply passes.

The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity. The Associated Press reported there were two who observed the stepped-up installation and that their primary job was to serve as watchdogs for Iran’s nuclear development.



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