- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 31, 2013

Defiant Iran vowed Thursday to speed up its uranium enrichment program and told International Atomic Energy Agency officials it will install thousands more centrifuges at its Natanz plant.

According to Radio Free Europe, that means Iran could refine uranium twice as fast — or faster — than it presently can.

Tehran insists its enrichment program is for peaceful energy purposes only. International thought holds to the idea Iran is aggressively seeking nuclear weapons.

Unverified reports of an explosion at Iran’s Fordow nuclear enrichment site surfaced three days ago.

Fordow, located near Qom, started producing uranium that was highly enriched — at 20 percent purity compared with the maximum 5 percent that’s needed for energy — in 2011, furthering suspicions of Iran’s drive for nuclear weapon development, Reuters reported.

Iran denied the explosion at Fordow.

“The false news of an explosion at Fordow is Western propaganda ahead of nuclear negotiations to influence their process and outcome,” said a state news report cited in Reuters.  


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