The defense minister said Iran was producing equipment to protect its nuclear facilities against possible attacks, but added that the Islamic government was not planning to launch preemptive attacks on neighboring states. August 25, 2004 - The Islamic government was producing equipment to defend and protect nuclear facilities in case of an attack, defense minister Ali Shamkhani said on Tuesday, without going into further details. “If our nuclear power plants are targeted, there will be radioactive releases. You need special equipment to control it. Also, some countries in our neighborhood have achieved nuclear technology. We have to be prepared if there is an accident there,” Shamkhani said in an interview quoted by the official media. The limitations on importing technology imposed on Iran through the US sanctions, has benefited the country, Shamkhani claimed. “One of the reasons for our success is various sanctions imposed on us. When we felt all technological doors are closed to us, we had no option but to seek self-sufficiency and produce our needs ourselves,” he said. He said Iran would never launch a preemptive attack, retracting comments he had made last Wednesday in an interview with al-Jazeera television. The Arabic channel’s translator had quoted Shamkhani as saying, “We will not sit to wait for what others will do to us.” “Our defense doctrine is that we will not initiate any attack, and that is a written one,” Shamkhani said Tuesday in an interview published by the official news agency’s daily organ Iran. “In the past 25 years we never initiated any attack. Every time it was the other side that launched an offensive,” he added.