Iran, Russia to ink nuclear plants deal: Official

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Tehran and Moscow are soon to sign a deal on the construction of new nuclear power plants in Iran, an Iranian official says.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on Tuesday that AEOI Director Ali Akbar Salehi will travel to the Russian capital, Moscow, in August for the deal.

Deputy Director General for International Affairs at Russia’s Agency on Atomic Energy (Rosatom), Nikolai Spassky arrived in Tehran on Monday for a two-day visit to hold talks with Iranian officials. Spassky met with Salehi and Kamalvandi.

The AEOI spokesman said that during the Monday talks with Spassky, the two sides reviewed technical and commercial issues related to the deal.

The Russian nuclear official is set to hold talks with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, who is also the country’s top nuclear negotiator, on Tuesday, Kamalvandi said.

Meanwhile, Sergei Kirienko, the Rosatom CEO said Monday that Russia plans to sign a contract with Iran on the construction of two new energy blocks for the Bushehr nuclear facility by the end of the year.

“Talks are being held and they are nearing the completion stage. We hope that by the end of this year we will move on to the final signing and additions to the intergovernmental agreement and then the according contract,” Kirienko was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

In March, Rosatom and the AEOI reached an agreement to build at least two more nuclear power plants in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr, each capable of generating 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

According to Kamalvandi, the agreement is part of a 1992 deal between the two countries on further nuclear cooperation.

In September 2013, Iran officially took over from Russia the first unit of its first 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant in Bushehr for two years. The initial construction of the Bushehr facility began in 1975 by German companies, but the work was halted following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

After signing a deal on the construction of nuclear plants in 1992, Iran and Russia reached an agreement in 1995 to complete the Bushehr plant.

 

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