US official’s remark on nuclear bomb baseless: Iran (Lead)

March 2nd, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, March 2 (IANS) Iran Monday termed as “baseless” a top US officer’s remark that Tehran has enough material to build a nuclear bomb, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi termed the remark by US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen as “baseless” and “untechnical”.

“We have repeatedly said that manufacturing atomic bombs has no place in our defensive doctrine,” Qashqavi told reporters at his weekly press conference.

Iran has enough material to build a nuclear bomb, Mullen said Sunday.

“We think they do, quite frankly,” Mullen told CNN’s “State of the Union”, when asked if Iran had enough nuclear material to build the nuke.

Qashqavi said: “Another US official, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, rejected Mullen’s remarks immediately after he made the comments.”

Qashqavi reiterated that Tehran’s nuclear activities were carried out under direct supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and within the reach of its surveillance cameras.

Noting that Iran’s enrichment level was 3-4 percent, Qashqavi asked, “how is it possible that the enrichment level of 3-4 percent suddenly mounts to 90 percent” which is the level needed to produce an atomic bomb.

Reiterating that Tehran’s nuclear programme was only for civil purposes and generating electricity, the spokesman said: “Iran favours a world free from weapons of mass destruction.”

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