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Published: Monday, 7/16/2012

Iran moves toward nuke-powered ships

BLADE STAFF AND WIRE SERVICES

TEHRAN -- An Iranian parliamentary committee has approved a bill requiring the government to design nuclear-powered merchant ships and provide them with nuclear fuel, an Iranian news agency reported Sunday.

The bill appears to be a symbolic gesture to bolster Tehran's argument that it has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. The West suspects Iran's nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons technology, a charge Tehran denies.

Nuclear-powered vessels other than warships are rare. The International Atomic Energy Agency has said nuclear-powered merchant ships would not be economical.



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