Iran tests new nuclear programme equipment

Iran tested a new machine with greater capacity on Tuesday as part of its nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

He did not specify the equipment but diplomats in Vienna last week said Iran was installing advanced enrichment centrifuges, accelerating activity that could give Tehran the means to make atom bombs in the future if it chose to.

"Today a new machine was tested ... and the capacity of these new machines ... is five times greater than the current machines," he told an event in Tehran to mark Iran's National Day of Nuclear Technology.

Ahmadinejad earlier on Tuesday said Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its Natanz uranium enrichment plant, in a new snub to the West which fears Tehran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran rejects the charge.