TEHRAN // A semi-official Iranian news agency is reporting that the country has begun to design its first nuclear submarine.
A report today by Fars quotes the deputy navy chief in charge of technical affairs, Admiral Abbas Zamini, as saying Iran has begun "initial stages" of designing the nuclear-powered vessel.
Adm Zamini said Iran has developed "peaceful nuclear technology" and has both the capability and the right to build a submarine.
Iran and the West are odds over Tehran's nuclear programme. The six powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - fear the higher-enriched uranium could be quickly boosted to weapons-grade material of 95 per cent, a charge Iran denies.
Iran has also built several small submarines over the past years.
It has recently overhauled one of the three non-nuclear Russian Kilo-class submarines it bought in 1990s.