Ali Akbar Salehi’s comments came just days after the latest round of international talks in Vienna aimed at securing a long-term deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
“If we want to use the Natanz enrichment facility to produce the annual fuel of Bushehr nuclear power plant, we need to build 30,000 new centrifuges,” Salehi was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying.
Under an interim agreement reached last year that expires on July 20, Iran froze parts of its nuclear program as a confidence-building move in return for sanctions relief and a pledge of no new sanctions.
Salehi also said based on contract signed between Iran and Russia in 1992, Iran can build four more nuclear power plants, which its initial plans are being discussed by the Russian side.
He said the first step for launching new power plants is planned to be taken in the current year.
Salehi further said Iran does not plan to launch all four at the same time, because they want to have more share in building them and rely less on their Russian partners.
He said a two-year perspective has been forecasted to have them all started.
Iran, a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and an IAEA member, has being struggling with a Western standoff on its civilian nuclear program which it pursues for providing electricity for its 75 million population.