Iran expands nuclear capacity in underground bunker-sources

VIENNA Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:15pm IST

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VIENNA Aug 23 (Reuters) - Iran has installed more uranium enrichment machines in an underground bunker, diplomatic sources said on Thursday, potentially paving the way for a significant expansion of work the West fears is ultimately aimed at making nuclear bombs.

If confirmed, the development in Iran's Fordow facility - which is buried deep inside a mountain to protect it against foes - is likely to be seen as a signal of Iran's continued defiance of international demands to curb its nuclear programme.

Iran denies Western allegations that is seeking nuclear a weapons capability. But its refusal to suspend enrichment has been met with increasingly tough Western sanctions and heightened speculation that Israel may attack its nuclear sites.

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