IRAN has postponed its plans to start a nuclear research reactor which Western experts fear could produce material for an atomic bomb.

The Islamic State has continued to work at the facility near the town of Arak, but the start-up of the reactor has been delayed until 2014.

Tehran officials claim the site is for research purposes only. However, nuclear analysts claim it could yield plutonium for nuclear arms if the spent fuel is reprocessed.

This latest news follows claims the country is ready to double its underground uranium enrichment facility.