Khatami denies Iran's killer quake caused by nuclear test
TEHRAN (AFP) Dec 31, 2003
President Mohammad Khatami has denied that the killer quake which struck southeast Iran on December 26 was caused by a secret nuclear test, newspapers reported Wednesday.

"These allegations have spread, but they are completely unfounded," said the president, who on Monday and Tuesday visited the Bam region at the epicentre of the quake that he estimated had cost 40,000 lives.

"Our religious principles, our security and defence doctrine leave no room for nuclear arms," he said, quoted by the Iranian media.

Iran is building its first nuclear reactor but has repeatedly denied accusations from the United States and Israel that it has embarked on a covert nuclear arms programme.