Iran delegate says Tehran will move forward with civilian nuclear program

Iran will press ahead on the "tortuous path" to developing civilian nuclear power, a national representative said Tuesday, despite U.S. allegations that the effort masks plans to build nuclear weapons.

"Generation of nuclear electricity is the prime priority of Iran's nuclear program," said Mohammad Saeidi, vice president for planning and international affairs at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

"The people and government of Iran are determined to open their way through the tortuous path of peaceful use of nuclear technology despite all imposed restrictions and difficulties," he said.

Saeidi was speaking on the final day of a two-day international conference in Paris on the future of nuclear power for civilian uses, part of international efforts to meet the booming energy demands in the 21st century.

France, Germany and Britain are holding talks with Iran to ensure that it does not develop nuclear arms as some fear.

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