Iran has doubled the number of uranium enrichment machines it has in an underground bunker, the UN's nuclear watchdog said. The International Atomic Energy Agency says it needs access to Iran's Parchin site "without further delay".
Israel is facing growing international pressure not to attack Iran unilaterally, with the US in particular making clear its firm opposition to any such strike. It follows pressure on world leaders to halt Iran's contested nuclear programme.
The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey made comments that Washington did not want to be blamed for any Israeli initiative, according to an interview with the Guardian.
I don't want to be complicit if they (Israel) choose to do it. (This) could be undone if (Iran) was attacked prematurely.
– Martin Dempsey, US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General
A report by the UN's nuclear watchdog that accused Iran of doubling the number of uranium enrichment entrifuges it has in an underground bunker was politically motivated, as Iranian lawmaker said today.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report yesterday indicated that despite threat of an Israeli or US military strike on Tehran's nuclear facilities, it was rapidly increasing the enrichment capacity of its Fordow site, buried deep underground to withstand any such hit.
"Publishing this report while Iran is holding the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting does not mean anything other than it was a political move aimed at overshadowing the meeting in Tehran," lawmaker Kazem Jalali told the ISNA news agency.
Every incremental increase brings Iran closer to the day when it could produce a nuclear weapon, should it make the political decision to do so. They're not there yet, this is an incremental increase... But it would certainly be seen as concerning in Israel and parts of the US.
– Mark Fitzpatrick. International Institute for Strategic Studies
Iran's supreme leader says the country will not abandon its "peaceful" atomic program. The United States and its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.
I declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran has never been after nuclear weapons and it will never abandon its right for peaceful use of nuclear energy. Nuclear arms have neither provided security nor boosted political power.
– Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say on all state matters in Iran.
The UN's nuclear watchdog says Iran is preparing for a possible major expansion of uranium enrichment in an underground complex.
The Fordow site is buried deep inside a mountain
The number of enrichment centrifuges there has more than doubled to 2,140 from 1,064 in May
However, the new machines are not yet operating
The International Atomic Energy Agency also says "extensive activities" at Iran's Parchin military complex will hamper its investigation of possible past nuclear weapons development work there - if inspectors are granted access.