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Iran is at the initial stages of designing and building nuclear-propulsion systems for submarines, a top military official told the state-run Fars news agency.
“Since we have peaceful nuclear technology, we can put on the agenda the building of engine systems for nuclear submarines,” Abbas Zamani, the Iranian navy’s deputy commander for technical affairs, was quoted as saying by Fars. “Any country has the right to use peaceful nuclear technology namely for the propulsion system of vessels.”
Iran is at loggerheads with western countries over its nuclear program, which the U.S. and its allies suspect are part of a covert attempt to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its atomic program is intended for the production of electricity and says western nations are seeking to limit its technological advancement.
Iran announced in 2008 that it had started building submarines to give its military “the most advanced arms” and maintain security in the Strait of Hormuz.
“Our aim isn’t aggression but if someone attacks us we will defend ourselves,” Zamani said in today’s Fars report.
The Iranian navy has 23 submarines, including three Russian Kilo-class attack vessels, according to the International Institute for Strategic Study’s 2012 Military Balance publication. It also has 12 midget submarines, the publication says.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.org; Yeganeh Salehi in Tehran via Dubai.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at email@example.com