IIran considered pursuing a nuclear deterrent when it began its nuclear program in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War, a former president has been quoted as saying.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani suggested in an interview with Iran's Nuclear Hope magazine this week that officials were thinking about a deterrent capability when the nuclear program first began. But he insisted that it never took shape.
"When we first began, we were at war and we sought to have that possibility for the day that the enemy might use a nuclear weapon. That was the thinking. But it never became real," Rafsanjani said in the interview, which was carried by state news agency IRNA on October 27.
Rafsanjani said he travelled to Pakistan to try to meet Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program who later helped North Korea to develop an atomic bomb.
But Rafsanjani said he was unable to meet with Khan.
Khan was at the center of the world's biggest nuclear proliferation scandal in 2004 when he confessed to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea, and Libya.
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