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Report: Iran speeding up nuke production

QUM, Iran, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Iran has stepped up work on its nuclear program, officials said a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency will reveal.

Diplomats and experts briefed on the findings of the report said Iran has installed hundreds of new centrifuges at its nuclear production site.

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Nearly all the equipment is being installed deep underground on a military base near Qum and is considered virtually impossible to attack, The New York Times reported Friday.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Iran and the United States and its allies about the country's nuclear program have ground to a near halt, the Times reported.

"This will stir more discussion of how much time is left for diplomacy," Olli Heinonen, the former chief inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency, and a fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said. "Even if the new centrifuges are not operating yet, 1,000 new ones would represent a 20 percent increase -- and an increased production level will be a red line for many people."

Iran insists it is planning to use the nuclear power for peaceful ends, not bombs.

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