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News number: 9104251090

13:04 | 2012-07-23

Nuclear

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Official Underscores Iran's Ability to Produce N. Fuel for Trade Vessels

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is in possession of the technical knowledge to produce the nuclear fuel needed for trade vessels and submarines, a senior Iranian nuclear energy official announced.



"We have the capability to design nuclear fuel for ships and submarines," Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoun Abbasi said, and added, "But currently no plan to enrich uranium beyond 20 percent of enrichment is on our agenda."

The AEOI has no difficulty to move towards such systems and technologies, once it becomes a matter of basic necessity and the government makes a decision on it, Abbasi stated.

Last week, a senior Iranian legislator revealed the country's plan to use nuclear fuel in its vessels, and urged the government to enrich uranium to the needed levels to be used in such nuclear-powered ships.

"The government should enrich uranium to the needed level to supply fuel for the ships," member of the parliament's Industries Commission Allahverdi Dehqani told FNA on Tuesday.

"Given the western states' sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which include embargo on supplying fuel to Iranian vessels, the Islamic Republic will replace the fossil fuel with nuclear fuel to counter the sanctions so that the Iranian ships will not need refueling for long-distance voyage," he added.

"The government should enrich uranium to the necessary levels to supply fuel for such ships since we cannot cut our trade relations with other countries due to the western sanctions," Dehqani said.

Iranian military officials have also earlier informed that the country is designing a nuclear submarine.

Earlier this month, a senior Iranian Navy commander stressed Iran's high capabilities in designing and manufacturing different types of submarines, and announced the country's move towards manufacturing nuclear-powered submarines.

Speaking to FNA at the time, Lieutenant Commander of the Navy for Technical Affairs Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini pointed to the navy's plan to manufacture super heavy nuclear-powered submarines, and stated, "Right now, we are at the initial phases of manufacturing atomic submarines."

He noted Iran's astonishing progress in developing and acquiring civilian nuclear technology for various power-generation, agricultural and medical purposes, and said such advancements allow Iran to think of manufacturing nuclear-fueled submarines.

He further reminded that using nuclear power to fuel submarines is among the civilian uses of the nuclear technology and all countries are, thus, entitled to the right to make such a use.