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In recent months, Iranian regime spokesmen have conducted a campaign of statements regarding Iran's intent to enrich uranium for use in nuclear-fueled ships and submarines – the latter a patently military use of nuclear power.
Regime officials, regime dailies, and websites close to the regime issued no fewer than 12 such statements, in which they declared Iran's intent to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel to power both surface sea craft and submarines. It should be noted that while nuclear fuel for surface craft entails uranium enrichment of 50-60%, nuclear-powered submarines require enrichment of 90%, which is the same level needed for the production of a nuclear bomb.
In an apparent belated realization that the statements regarding nuclear submarines and 90% had incriminated Iran in intending to enrich uranium for military purposes beginning in early August 2012, Iranian media and regime mouthpieces are now refraining from mentioning the demand or the ability to enrich uranium to a level beyond 20%. Furthermore, since late July 2012, regime officials have stressed that Tehran does not at this stage require enrichment beyond 20%.
7. Amir Mousavi, a former advisor to the defense minister, said that Iran has the necessary knowhow to enrich uranium to the 50-60% level needed to fuel nuclear ships and submarines, but added that it was prepared to discuss Western demands if the West recognized its right to develop civilian nuclear technology.
8. The Iranian website Fa.irannuc.ir, which is close to Iran's team of nuclear negotiators, claimed, "Producing [nuclear] fuel for submarines and ships entails raising the level of enrichment beyond 20%. However, it is extremely important to note that this is an entirely civilian move, as, according to the NPT, Iran has the right to enrich [uranium] to any level it wishes, for civilian use. This [comes as] a direct response to Europe and the U.S.'s recent sanctions against Iran..."