Washington, Feb. 1 (ANI): Iran is planning to race up its nuclear program by using new centrifuges that can quickly enrich uranium so that it could be used to make an atomic bomb sooner than had been anticipated.
The 3,000 centrifuges would take up to a year to install, so Iran still has not crossed the threshold to a nuclear weapon, CBS News reports.
But David Albright, who closely monitors the Iranian nuclear program, said that the country's move was an ominous development.
He said that Iran was signaling that they're going to dramatically increase their capability to produce enriched uranium, which everyone has feared.
According to the report, the White House called the country's move as 'another provocative step by Iran'.
The new centrifuges, which Iran apparently has been able to produce despite international sanctions, could turn out enriched uranium at three to five times the rate of its current centrifuges.
Once installed and in operation, the centrifuges could give Iran the capability to make a dash for the bomb faster than the U.S. and its allies could react.
Albright said that 'in one or two weeks, they could have enough for a nuclear weapon, and that's going to be hard to both detect and respond to'.
Albright estimates Iran could achieve that so-called break-out capability by the middle of 2014, although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has famously drawn a red line that Iran could cross as early as the middle of this year, the report added.
Israel's red line is based simply on the amount of uranium Iran has enriched.
Iran's intentions remain a mystery, but one thing is certain that they keep getting better at enriching uranium, the report added. (ANI)