Monday, March 07, 2005

Iran says it had no choice but to hide nuke program

Iran says it had no choice but to hide nuke program: "Iran says it had no choice but to hide nuke program

Associated Press
Mar. 7, 2005 12:00 AM

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran on Sunday blamed American sanctions and European restrictions for denying Tehran access to advanced civilian nuclear technology, forcing it to keep the program secret in its early days and driving the country to the black market for needed materials.

Despite the initial secrecy, Iran now openly admits that it has already achieved proficiency in the full range of activities involved in enriching uranium, a technology that can be used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors or atomic bombs.

Washington has accused Tehran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to build a nuclear bomb. Iran denies the charge, claiming its nuclear program is designed to generate electricity. advertisement

"True. There was secrecy," former President Hashemi Rafsanjani said. "But secrecy was necessary to buy equipment for a peaceful nuclear program."

Rafsanjani was speaking at the closing session of a two-day international conference on nuclear technology in Tehran, attended by more than 50 international nuclear scientists."