TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A conservative Iranian news website says Tehran should enrich uranium to new levels close to weapons-grade to produce nuclear fuel for oil tankers.
Iranian lawmakers have argued that the Islamic Republic should design nuclear merchant ships.
Nuclear-powered vessels other than warships are rare worldwide. Mashreghnews.ir, which reflects the views of some Iranian hardliners, argued Monday however that Western sanctions force Iran to use new sources of fuel for big vessels during long voyages.
It said Iran should enrich to 60 percent, much closer to weapons-grade than Tehran's current program.
Nuclear fuel would be an additional justification — alongside electricity generation and medical research — to bolster Iran's claim that it needs higher enrichment for peaceful purposes. The West fears that Iranian enrichment is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.