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October 25, 2012 11:24 am

Western Diplomats: Iran has Finished Installing Centrifuges at Fordow Plant

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Iran and weapons of mass destruction.

According to Western diplomats Iran has nearly finished installing centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. The underground plant was disclosed by the country in 2009 only after Western spy agencies discovered it.

A report in Reuters states that “the diplomats said they had heard of indications that Iran had put in place the last 640 or so uranium centrifuges of a planned total of some 2,800 at the site, but had not started running them yet.”

“I understand that they have installed all the centrifuges there,” one envoy told Reuters.

Fordow is especially worrisome to the West because Iran is refining uranium there to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, which Iran says it needs for a medical reactor. However, Twenty percent purity is only a short technical step from weapons grade. The West fears that this refinement, for peaceful purposes according to Iran, is in fact a cover for developing nuclear weapons—or the capability of developing them quickly if it decides to.

There was no immediate comment from Iran or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to the Reuters report.  The U.N. watchdog is expected to issue its next report on Tehran’s nuclear program next month.

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