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Diplomats: Iran starts installing high-tech enrichment machines, adding to nuclear concerns

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    In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, waves to the crowd at the conclusion of his speech in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Iran's Supreme Leader said Saturday that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, but that no world power could stop Tehran's access to an atomic bomb if it intended to build one. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)The Associated Press

  • 9e773948aeafab05290f6a706700ca54.jpg

    In this photo released by the official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Iranian well wishers attending the speech of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hold up his picture at a mosque inside the leader's housing compound in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Khamenei said Saturday that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, but that no world power could stop Tehran's access to an atomic bomb if it intended to build one. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)The Associated Press

  • 082e36baae75aa05290f6a70670073a0.jpg

    In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaks to the crowd in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Iran's Supreme Leader said Saturday that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, but that no world power could stop Tehran's access to an atomic bomb if it intended to build one. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)The Associated Press

Western diplomats say Iran has started installing high-tech machines at its main uranium enrichment site that are capable of accelerating activity that can produce reactor fuel and — with further upgrading — the core of a nuclear warhead.

Iran already said last week that it had begun installation, but diplomats said at the time that the announcement was premature, with the enriching centrifuges on site but not yet being put into place

Three diplomats speaking to The Associated Press on Wednesday said, however, that installation was now well on its way, with 100 or more machines mounted. They demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge confidential information.

Iran denies any interest in nuclear weapons and says it is enriching only for nuclear power, science and medical purposes.