Iran, Russia close to signing agreement on building new nuclear plants
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 11
By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend:
Iran and Russia are close to signing an agreement to build more nuclear power plants in Iran, IRINN TV channel reported live on Dec. 11, quoting Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Zarif made the remarks at the press conference, after meeting with Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who arrived in Tehran late Tuesday on an official visit to discuss bilateral ties with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and other senior Iranian officials.
Lavrov, for his part, said that Russia is interested in cooperation with Iran in the sphere of peaceful nuclear energy, and building nuclear power plants similar to the Bushehr plant, which works on light water power reactors.
Iran's only Bushehr nuclear power plant came into service September 2011 and began operating at full capacity a year after. Moscow handed over operational control of the Russian-made plant to Iran in September of 2013.
Construction of the power plant in the country's south began in the 1970s but was plagued by delays. Russia signed a billion-dollar deal with Tehran to complete the plant in 1998.
Following Iran's success at the recent nuclear talks, Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told IRINN on Dec. 1 that Iran was negotiating with Russia a deal to build more nuclear power plants in 2014.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes. The US, Israel and other Western allies are concerned that Iran is bent on building nuclear weapons.