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Iran installing new nuclear equipment

"On 6 February 2013, the Agency observed that Iran had started the installation of IR-2m centrifuges" at the Natanz plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency report said. "This is the first time that centrifuges more advanced than the IR-1 have been installed" at the plant in central Iran, it said. One official said that Iran intended to install around 3,000 of the new centrifuges at Natanz -- where around 12,500 of the older models are installed -- enabling it to speed up the enrichment of uranium. This process is at the heart of the international community's concerns about Iran's nuclear programme, since enriched uranium -- at high levels -- can be used in a nuclear weapon.

The new report said that Iran has so far produced 280 kilos (617 pounds) of 20-percent uranium, of which around 110 kilos have been diverted to fuel production.

Experts say that around 250 kilos are needed for one bomb, although creating a weapon requires several other steps and if Iran were to start further enriching to weapons-grade this would be detected by the IAEA.

The report came ahead of a new meeting between Iran and six world powers -- the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany -- in Kazakhstan on February 26.

These talks between the P5+1 and Iran will be the first since June, when three rounds of meetings last year ended in stalemate in Moscow.

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