Iranian official defends nuclear program

An Iranian official defended Tehran's nuclear program on Tuesday during a visit to the Venezuelan capital, accusing the United States of trying to undermine his country's independence. Iran's parliamentary speaker Gholam Ali Hadad Adel, part of an Iranian delegation visiting Caracas, told reporters that US opposition to Iran's nuclear program was "only a pretext." "The North American preoccupation does not have to do with (the fact) that we have achieved atomic energy," Hadad Adel said. "They are worried that we want to be independent."