Iran is secretly manufacturing upgraded centrifuges used to enrich uranium, an Iranian opposition movement claimed Thursday.
Spokespersons for the National Council of Resistance of Iran said Tehran has built 15 P-2 model centrifuges. The advanced designs have a greater speed and can thus enrich much larger amounts of uranium in a shorter period of time.
If the group's accusations are true, it would mean that Iran could speed up its ability to produce high-grade uranium, which would pave the way towards production of the atomic bomb.
The organization alleges that the new-model centrifuges are being manufactured at a factory outside of Tehran.
In the past, nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that Iran secretly purchased diagrams of centrifuges from Pakistan, albeit those belonging to the P-1 make, which was manufactured 30 years ago.
Iran has put the centrifuges into use at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. In parallel, IAEA officials also discovered that Tehran had obtained diagrams of P-2 centrifuges from a Pakistani smuggling ring. Iran issued vociferous denials that it used the sketches to build the centrifuges.
The organization which runs the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a group that also boasts a military wing, was the first to reveal nearly four years ago that Iran had quietly built the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. The group also blew the whistle when the regime built its heavy water reactor, which was officially inaugurated this week in the town of Arak.
The IAEA based its reports, which accused Iran of violating international law in pursuing its nuclear program, on information provided by the exiled dissident organization. Critics, however, have noted that the National Council has provided inaccurate information in the past.