Iran said Monday it is currently installing 3,000 centrifuges, effectively confirming that its nuclear program is running behind schedule, since these devices for uranium enrichment were to have been in place by the end of last year.
"We are moving toward the production of nuclear fuel, which requires 3,000 centrifuges and more than this figure," government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham told a news conference. "This program is being carried out and moving toward completion."
On the weekend, Iran dismissed reports from Europe that its uranium enrichment program had been stalled. But last year, Iran said the installation of the 3,000 centrifuges would be completed by the end of 2006.
Iran's failure to install the 3,000 centrifuges by Dec. 31 has provoked reports that it is encountering technical difficulties in mastering large-scale enrichment.