The Iranian nuclear chief says Tehran is to sign agreements with Moscow shortly for construction of two new nuclear power plants in Iran.
Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday that agreements are to be finalized in the near future with Russia for constructing two new nuclear power plants in Iran.
Speaking to reporters, Salehi expressed hope that construction of the two future power plants will soon begin after finalization of the agreements between Tehran and Moscow.
“Talks are underway with Russians for the construction of the power plants which will generate 1,000 MW [of electricity],” he added.
Salehi, also a vice-president, estimated that construction of one of the two power plants will start before the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2015) while the second one will begin in two years.
Rejecting claims that Russians are not reliable, Salehi said, “Russians are not unreliable partners. They shouldn’t be considered like that.”
Russia helped Iran construct its first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr based on a contract signed between Iran and the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy in 1995. Russia’s Atomstroyexport was named as the main contractor.
However, the work was delayed several years because of technical and financial challenges as well as political pressure from the West.
The plant became officially operational and was connected to Iran’s national grid in September 2011, generating electricity at 40 percent its capacity.
In September 2013, Iran officially took over from Russia the first unit of its first 1,000-megawatt nuclear power station for two years.