Iran has explained why it needs a nuclear program, stressing that all nations should have the right to use peaceful nuclear energy.

Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy director for international affairs of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), issued a statement on Iran's nuclear program in a conference in Beijing.

The International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century, organized by the IAEA, was hosted by Beijing, China from April 20 to 21.

Saeedi stressed that all countries should have the right to have nuclear power plants "without any discrimination."

He noted that Iran's need for energy is rapidly increasing and the country will be forced to use new energy resources.

Saeedi said that according to Iran's 20-Year Outlook Plan -- the country's development roadmap - Iran is expected to become a 'developed country' by 2025 and its demand for energy will increase rapidly in the coming years.

He said that Iran must substitute new energy resources for its fossil fuel resources in order to guarantee its energy security.

"The fossil resources can not be considered an ideal resource for supplying secure energy in the long term," Saeedi added.

The AEOI deputy director also pointed to concern for the environment as one of the main reasons for Iran's nuclear program.

"Fossil fuels are considered the main energy resources in Iran, but they also contribute to environmental pollution, Saeedi said.

He also cited nuclear energy's "techno-economic advantages" and its positive "influence on the development of other sectors" as factors that have motivated Iran to continue its nuclear program.