Iran has been seeking to acquire a nuclear bomb ever since it initiated its nuclear program, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former Iranian president, told the Iran Republic News Agency on Monday, according to the Iranian dissidents group the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
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“We implemented part of our nuclear activity when we were still at war and Iraq was close to securing enrichment when Israel destroyed all of it," he told the news agency in Farsi, the anti-Iranian regime NCRI reported.
Rafsanjani, who is head of Iran’s State Exigency Council, explained that Iran's goal was deterrence in light of its extended war with Iraq.
"Those years, we were all thinking that we should arm ourselves with deterrent elements since the war was not about to end and in our defensive policies we had the word of Imam [Khomeini] in mind that the war may last 20 years,” said
According to the IRNA interview as reported by NCRI, Rafsanjani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have personally followed up on the project to acquire a nuclear bomb. He also acknowledged the clandestine nature of the nuclear program, which has included building secret sites, enriching uranium, manufacturing centrifuge parts, employing laser technology and constructing a heavy water reactor.
“80% to 90% of the Iranian people concur with the [nuclear] accord and want to be done with it [nuclear project],” stated Rafsanjani. The National Council pointed out that this statement contradicts the Islamic regime's official position that the Iranian people have been fully behind the project.