Iran claimed on Tuesday that it has begun taking "preliminary steps" in constructing its first nuclear-powered submarine. The announcement comes days before Iran is set to resume talks with the West about its nuclear enrichment program.
Analysts said that Iran may use the submarine as a means to justify refining uranium to a higher level, and that the move seems purely political. "If Iran moves forward on this project it would be for political reasons," said Mark Hibbs, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "Iran could easily defend itself with conventional submarine technology."