Iran: We will join 'world nuclear club' within a month
Iran news agency: Construction of nuclear power plant and 40 megawatt research reactor 70% finished.
Iran announced that it will join the "world nuclear club" within a month and will be capable of deterring possible attacks on the country, the Iranian Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.
"No country would even think about attacking Iran after Iran's membership in the club," said Behzad Soltani, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, according to the report.
Soltani added that the construction of a 360 megawatt nuclear power plant and a 40 megawatt research reactor in Iran's central city of Arak are 70 percent finished.
He also said that the developments will help treat 850,000 cancer patients.
"We do not intend to use the peaceful nuclear energy merely for generating electricity and energy, rather our next step would be expanding use of this technology for purposes other than energy and fuel production so that foodstuff, proteins and vegetables are preserved for a longer time and with a higher quality through radiation," Soltani said, according to Fars.
He added that the technology will also increase economic growth and prosperity in Iran.
"This means Iran's mighty nuclear independence intermingled with economic growth, expansion of technology and political power in the international arena," Behzadi said.
Iran earlier on Tuesday expressed doubts that China will back the U.S. and European drive for renewed United Nations Security Council sanctions against it.
U.S. officials said Monday China was ready to work with the U.S. on possible sanctions.
Chinese spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama that China and the United States share the same overall goal on the Iranian nuclear issue.
But Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters on Tuesday athat Tehran does not view the statement as Chinese approval for the U.S. stance.
"Our interpretation [of the statement] is different," Mehmanparast said, but would not elaborate.
Mehmanparast added that both China and Russia would attend a two-day international nuclear disarmament conference starting on April 17 in Tehran.
At least 15 foreign ministers would attend the meeting, he said.
Although the conference is supposed to deal with nuclear disarmament, observers say that the meeting is another effort by Iran to seek international acknowledgement for its nuclear policies and expose renewed sanctions as irrelevant.
Iran has persistently dismissed international concerns that it is secretly developing nuclear weapons.