U.S. says Iran has secret program to develop nuclear weapons, Tehran denies

Published December 13th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Iran said on Friday its nuclear energy program was strictly for civilian use. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said "Iran's aim regarding this issue is totally clear, transparent and peaceful and is compatible with international conventions. "This (Iran's nuclear energy program) has been repeatedly approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran believes it has the right to use it for peaceful aims," he told Reuters


This reaction came after U.S. officials said two construction sites in central Iran may be used for a secret program to develop nuclear weapons.  


The officials generally endorsed Thursday reports published by an Iranian opposition group this summer that accused Iran of building facilities for their nuclear programs at the two sites.  


In August, officials with the National Council of Resistance of Iran said the sites, once completed, will be a nuclear fuel production plant and research lab at Natanz and a heavy water production plant at Arak.  


The Natanz plant also may include a uranium-enrichment facility, U.S officials said. A heavy water plant at Arak would be part of a plutonium program. (Albawaba.com)

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