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Report: Iran plans to unveil defense project

By the CNN Wire Staff
An Iranian flag flutters Friday at an undisclosed location in Iran next to a surface-to-surface Qiam-1 (Rising) missile.
An Iranian flag flutters Friday at an undisclosed location in Iran next to a surface-to-surface Qiam-1 (Rising) missile.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defense minister describes project is important
  • Semiofficial media: Military will test missiles
  • Announcement comes as Iran begins fueling nuclear plant

(CNN) -- The Iranian defense minister has said the country's military plans to unveil an important project Sunday, state media said.

Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said a project of "great importance" would be made public Sunday, state-run Press TV reported.

"Iran's defense capability has reached a point which does not need any aid from other countries," Vahidi said, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.

The semiofficial Mehr News Agency has reported that the Iranian armed forces would test-fire new missiles Sunday.

Vahidi's announcement Saturday came as Iran began fueling its first nuclear energy plant in the southern city of Bushehr, the nation's state media reported.

Press TV said the effort will help the country create nuclear-generated electricity.

But some Western nations have questioned whether the nuclear fuel will be used solely for electricity, suggesting that Iran would eventually try to enrich uranium on its own, providing material for nuclear weapons.

Video: Iran nuclear plant fueling
RELATED TOPICS
  • Iran

The United States has questioned Iran's motives in continuing to enrich uranium within its borders.

"Russia is providing the fuel, and taking the fuel back out," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said earlier this month.

"It, quite clearly, I think, underscores that Iran does not need its own enrichment capability if its intentions, as it states, are for a peaceful nuclear program," he said.

Iran has maintained all along that the site will produce energy, but the United States and some other international observers remain unconvinced.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking to Russian reporters in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday, brushed off Western concerns about the Bushehr facility, calling it "the most important anchor holding Iran to the nonproliferation regime," according to the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

 
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