DICTATOR Francisco Franco wanted to develop a nuclear arms programme to consolidate Spain’s international standing, according to a declassified report by the CIA.

In the document, which is dated May 17, 1974 but only recently made public, Spain was under close scrutiny from the US after the security agency discovered the plans.

The dictator wanted to build a uranium enrichment plant to develop nuclear weapons, the 50-page report claims.

Spain, had its nuclear plans not been scrapped, would have tested any nuclear bomb in the Sahara Desert, the CIA believes.

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