TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran is installing new uranium enrichment machines aimed at speeding up progress in its nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, a development that may add to Western concern about Tehran's aims.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast appeared to confirm a Reuters story last week that Iran was installing two newer and more advanced models of the centrifuges used to refine uranium for large-scale testing at a research site.
If Iran eventually succeeds in introducing the more modern centrifuges for production, it could significantly shorten the time needed to stockpile material which can have civilian as well as military purposes, if processed much further.
"By installing the new centrifuges progress is being made with more speed and better quality," Mehmanparast said, adding the move showed Iran was being successful in its "peaceful nuclear activity."
Iran denies Western accusations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and says it is refining uranium for electricity generation and medical applications.
(Reporting by Ramin Mostafavi, writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Jon Boyle)