An Islamic Republic Navy official announced on Tuesday that Iran is beginning to design its first nuclear-powered submarine.

Fars News Agency reports that Admiral Abbas Zamini, the deputy navy chief in charge of technical affairs, said: “When we have peaceful nuclear technology, then we can also initiate plans for building nuclear-powered submarines.”

He added that the Islamic Republic needs nuclear-powered submarines in order to carry out operations on a wider range and to establish its presence in various parts of the world.

Iran is currently building several small- and medium-sized submarines domestically and has also overhauled large submarines bought from Russia.