Iran denies having secret parallel nuclear program to produce A-bomb
TEHRAN (AFP) May 02, 2004
Iran on Sunday denied that it has secret parallel nuclear program aiming to produce atomic weapons, as claimed by the main Iranian armed opposition group.

"In order for the hypocrites to continue their existence they have to fabricate news for their master the United States and Westerners", Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said, using Tehran's name for the People's Mujahedeen, in his weekly press conference.

The Mujahedeen-dominated National Council of Resistance of Iran said last week that Tehran is rushing to complete a first nuclear bomb in "between one and two years."

It said the drive is being pursued by a special military unit of 400 experts and researchers working secretly outside the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization and under the personal supervision of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme ruler.

In a recent report, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency said parts of Iran's nuclear program are under military control.

The Islamic republic has persistently denied ever having a nuclear weapons program and says its facilities and programs are used only for the generation of electricity and are peaceful.