VIENNA - Iran is still relying on old technology to expand its nuclear program, in what may be a sign it is having difficulties developing modern machines that could speed up production of potential bomb material.
Contrary to some Western media reports in the run-up to Friday's International Atomic Energy Agency report, Iran does not yet seem ready to deploy advanced enrichment equipment for large-scale production, despite years of testing.
Instead, the IAEA document showed Iran was preparing to install thousands more centrifuges based on an erratic and outdated design, both in its main enrichment plant at Natanz and in a smaller facility at Fordow buried deep underground.
"It appears that they are still struggling with the advanced centrifuges," said Olli Heinonen, a former chief nuclear inspector for the Vienna-based UN body.
"We do not know whether the reasons for delays are lack of raw materials or design problems," he said.
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