WASHINGTON — Iran has told the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency that it plans to add 3,000 faster centrifuges to its main uranium enrichment facility, a step that could shorten the time needed if Tehran decides to build a nuclear bomb.
Officials with the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday that Iranian authorities had informed them in a letter that Tehran would add IR-2m centrifuges, which spin three to five times faster than the current IR-1 model, to the enrichment hall at the Natanz nuclear complex.
Although Iran often has boasted of technological capabilities it doesn't have, Western governments are taking the announcement seriously. Diplomats said the disclosure deepened their concern that Tehran wasn't serious about resuming negotiations over demands to curb its nuclear program.
Diplomats from six world powers have been discussing holding new talks with Iran since November, but have yet to set a time and place.