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Russia interested in building more nuclear power plants in Iran: Rosatom official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows a view of Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iranian port city of Bushehr on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf.

A senior official of Russia’s State Corporation on Atomic Energy, Rosatom, has indicated his company’s interest in building new nuclear power plants in Iran.

According to Iranian media, in a meeting with Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei, Rosatom’s Deputy Director General for International Affairs Nikolai Spassky noted that his company is ready to start building Iran's second and third nuclear power plants in the southern port city of Bushehr, where Russia has already built a nuclear plant for the Iranian side.

The Russian official, who visited Iranian cities of Tehran and Isfahan recently, added that Rosatom is ready to sign contracts for the construction of Iran's second and third nuclear plants.

He also expressed hope that Iran and the P5+1 countries would manage to forge a final nuclear deal over Tehran’s nuclear program by the end of June.

The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which led to relative loosening of sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions were imposed on Iran at the beginning of 2012 by the US and European Union (EU) claiming that there is a military aspect to Iran's peaceful nuclear program; an allegation Iran categorically rejected.

The two sides also reached a mutual understanding on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne, which is considered a prelude to the achievement of a comprehensive deal before a self-designated deadline at the end of June.

Deputy director of Rosatom also invited Iran to take active part in Russia’s three-day nuclear exhibition, dubbed ATOMEXPO 2015, which is scheduled to open in the Russian capital city of Moscow on June 1.

During recent years, Iran and Russia have taken decisive steps to boost cooperation in all fields, including in the field of nuclear technology.

On November 11, the two countries struck a deal to build eight more nuclear power plants in Iran.

The agreement was signed between the General Director of Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, in Moscow.

According to the deal, up to four of the projected power plants are planned to be built at the site of Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran.

The remaining four are expected to be constructed elsewhere in the country, but the exact location has not been determined yet.

Russia has already built a power plant in Bushehr. The agreement for Bushehr nuclear power plant was finalized in 1995, but the project was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial problems.

The 1,000-megawatt plant, which is operating under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reached its maximum power generation capacity in August 2012.

In September 2013, Iran officially took over from Russia the first unit of its first 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant for two years.


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