In a rare interview, the man dubbed “the father of Iran’s nuclear programme” tells how the project began under the Shah, who wanted to leave the option for a bomb open.
Now in his 80s, Akhbar Etemad remembers all too clearly the pressure the Americans tried to apply to him when he was head of Iran’s nuclear programme between 1974 and 1978.
Mr Etemad was the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation and it was under him that the country’s nuclear project began and flourished.
‘No way out’
After the 1979 Iranian revolution the nuclear programme was stopped for a time.
”At the beginning the revolutionaries thought that nuclear technology [was] one of the tactics of the US to put [a] hand on Iran. Later on they realised it was a successful programme and they had to continue it.”
Commenting on the current deadlock, Mr Etemad says “there’s no way out. I think Iran has the right to do the research that they are doing and I don’t see why the Western countries impose sanctions against Iran.
After the revolution, Mr Etemad established an office in Paris as a consultant in the field of nuclear energy. At the time the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, whose country was at war with Iran, tried to persuade him to work in Iraq.
Full article: The man who turned Iran nuclear (BBC)