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New Centrifuges Could Help Iran Speed Up Nuclear Fuel Production

IIPA via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Iran seems determined to hasten the process of producing nuclear fuel, according to United Nation inspectors.

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, says that Iran has installed a new generation of centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear enrichment center capable of enriching uranium at a much faster rate -- a key step in making atomic weapons.

This equipment is significantly more powerful than what Iranian scientists have used in the past, according to the IAEA inspectors.  They released their findings ahead of the next summit on nuclear talks taking place on Feb. 26 between the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany and Iran.

Interestingly, Iran hasn't been accruing too much medium-enriched uranium, the main ingredient of bomb fuel.

This may be an attempt by Tehran to defuse the threat by Israel to launch a preemptive strike targeting its nuclear facilities, particularly the Natanz plant.

However, Israel isn't buying it.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office say the inspectors report on the centrifuges is what's most troublesome as Israel considers its options to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear bombs.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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