TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – An Iranian nuclear agency official has denied claims made by a top lawmaker that the Islamic Republic had begun installing 3,000 centrifuges at an uranium enrichment plant, Iran’s state-run news agency reported late Saturday.

Hossein Simorgh, spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization public relations department, said “no new centrifuges have been installed in Natanz,” referring to the nuclear facility in central Iran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Earlier Saturday, lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Iran was currently installing the 3,000 centrifuges, underlining that the country would continue to develop its disputed nuclear program despite U.N. sanctions.

It was not immediately clear why the two officials made contradicting statements. Iranian officials have in recent weeks said the country was moving toward large-scale enrichment involving 3,000 centrifuges, which spin uranium gas into enriched material.

The United States and its allies believe that Iran is using its nuclear program as a cover to produce an atomic weapon. Iran has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying its program is only for peaceful purposes including generating electricity.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini refused to elaborate on the discrepancy yesterday, saying only that the contradicting remarks were a “technical matter.”

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