EU's Ashton concerned at Iranian plans for advanced atom work

BRUSSELS, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Iran on Friday to abandon its expressed intention to speed up nuclear work, saying that would violate the Islamic republic's international obligations.

Iran has announced plans to install and operate advanced uranium enrichment machines, in what would be a technological leap allowing it to significantly speed up activity the West fears could be put to developing a nuclear weapon.

"We have learned with serious concern that Iran has informed the IAEA about its intention to install advanced centrifuges," a spokeswoman for Ashton said. (Reporting by Justyna Pawlak; editing by Rex Merrifield)