TEHRAN, Iran – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered authorities to open the doors of Iran's nuclear facilities to foreign tourists in order to prove that the country's disputed nuclear program has been peaceful, state-run television reported on Wednesday.
"After an order by the president... foreign tourists can visit Iran's nuclear facilities," the head of Iran's tourism division, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, was quoted as saying.
Mashai said Ahmadinejad issued the order to show that Iran's nuclear program has been peaceful, and that it aims to generate fuel, not weapons.
"We are reviewing the related instructions in this regard," he reportedly said.
The report did not clarify the definition of a foreign tourist. The announcement came a day after Iran's parliament voted to debate a bill that would require the government to fingerprint all U.S. citizens visiting Iran.
The draft law would require all American citizens to be fingerprinted when they enter Iran. The measure was in retaliation for the fingerprinting of Iranian travelers visiting the United States — a procedure implemented in 2002 for Iranians and citizens of several other countries.
The U.S. and some of its allies’ fear Iran is seeking to enrich uranium to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran contends its nuclear program is to develop fuel only.