Iran reportedly orders development of nuclear-powered warships

13 December 2016 (Last Updated December 13th, 2016 18:30)

Iran President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly ordered the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation to begin developing nuclear-powered warships.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly ordered the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation to begin developing nuclear-powered warships.

The move comes in response to the recent extension of sanctions by the US Congress, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Rouhani.

Earlier this month, the US Senate voted to extend the Iran Sanctions Act by ten years.

"The announcement from the Iranians today does not run counter to the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

Rouhani alleges the extension of sanctions violates the atomic deal signed by Iran with the US and five other nations in 2015.

The White House has however declined the allegations made by Rouhani regarding the nuclear deal, according to the newspaper.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest as saying: "The announcement from the Iranians today does not run counter to the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Meanwhile, researchers at Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies revealed that nuclear-powered vessels are usually fuelled with uranium enriched above 90%, according to The Wall Street Journal, though some of the world’s navies use uranium enriched to less than 10%.

Rouhani did not provide details about the grade of uranium that would be used for fuel.

According to nuclear experts, the development of nuclear-fuelled ships would require Iran to improve the quality of uranium above the maximum level set in the nuclear deal, Reuters reported.