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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UK in secret nuclear talks with Iran 30 years ago

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Dec 28, IRNA
UK-Iran Nuclear
Britain entered into secret negotiations in 1977 to build 20 nuclear reactors in Iran before the Islamic Revolution, according to newly declassified official documents.

The programme dwarfed similar projects offered at the time by France and Germany and senior UK civil servants predicted that by the end of the 20th century Iran would have obtained technology - from Britain itself to build nuclear weapons.

The revelations come at a time when the UK government has ironically been at the front of leading a US campaign to prevent Iran from developing its right to have its own uranium enrichment programme.

Energy Minister in 1977 Tony Benn sent a note to the then British Prime Minister James Callaghan saying Iran would invest millions of pounds in pressurised water reactor technology in return for Britain's agreement to supply the 20 PWR plants.

His most senior atomic energy adviser had "found himself drawn into a proposal that would involve a close nuclear partnership between Britain and Iran under which we would take a leading role in developing their massive nuclear power programme," it said.

According to the Financial Times Friday, the official document shows that UK officials were still hopeful of beating off competition from France and Germany, which had offered to build one or two relatively small reactors.

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