Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the nation's nuclear program is necessary because its vast oil and gas reserves cannot last forever.
Iran's state-run television Saturday quoted Khamenei as saying nations must have alternate energy sources to avoid being at the mercy of domineering countries.
Khamenei lashed out at critics of Iran's nuclear program, calling them narrow-minded.
The U.S. accuses Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover up to build nuclear weapons. Iran has always rejected those charges, insisting its atomic program is peaceful in nature. Iranian officials have said it has every right to pursue its goals.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.