bushehr - Reuters - December 9 2010
Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. Photo by Reuters
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Iran has tripled its capacity to enrich uranium to elevated levels, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said in a report on Friday.

Iran's enrichment of uranium up to 20 per cent has caused concern in the West because it is theoretically much easier to turn such material into bomb-grade material than uranium enriched at below five percent.

Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges for enriching to 20 percent at its fortified underground site at Fordo, according to a copy of the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) obtained by DPA.

Iran has now made more than 100 kilograms of higher-enriched material, less than half the amount needed for a nuclear warhead, the document said. Iran denies seeking a nuclear weapon.

Officials in Teheran this week gave the IAEA a document that aimed to answer allegations about nuclear projects, but the document contained nothing but dismissals of the agency's concerns, "largely on the grounds that Iran considered them to be based on unfounded allegations," the IAEA said.