Tehran is in talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to start a second phase of cooperation with the UN atomic body, says Iran’s nuclear chief.
“Iran and the agency will end phase one of the negotiations by early February, and the second phase of Iran-IAEA talks will start soon afterward,” said Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi.
In the second phase, he said, Iran and the agency need to negotiate and work out a clear framework on how to continue their cooperation.
Iran and the UN nuclear body signed a joint statement in November 2013 to outline a roadmap on bilateral cooperation on certain outstanding issues.
Under the deal, Iran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow the IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant and the Gachin uranium mine. The IAEA Safeguards Agreement does not require Tehran to authorize IAEA inspections of those sites.
Salehi also said that Iran is in talks with Russian officials for building a second nuclear plant in the province of Bushehr in the south of the country.
The initial construction of the first nuclear power plant in Bushehr began in 1975 by German companies, but the work was halted following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In 1995, Iran and Russia reached an agreement to complete the project, but power generation was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial problems.
The plant became officially operational and was connected to Iran’s national grid in September 2011, generating electricity at 40 percent capacity.
The 1,000-megawatt plant, which is operating under the full supervision of the IAEA, reached its maximum power generation capacity in August 2012.