Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said construction will soon start construction on a second nuclear power plant in the country's southwest Bushehr province, Iranian Tasnim news agency reported.
“The first nuclear power plant is in operation in Bushehr province, and the construction of the second one will soon kick off ; development of new atomic power plants in the country will start in earnest and there will be nuclear reactors in most parts of Bushehr province,” Tasnim quoted him as saying.
In reference to the recently-signed deal in Geneva with world powers on the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear program, Rouhani said the airs in the international arena were less tense.
However, the Iranian president stressed that "our enemies and rivals will not give up their hostility and rivalry."
Under the Nov. 24 interim accord, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
The agreement - reached after more than
four days of negotiations between Iran and the United States, France,
Russia, China, Britain and Germany - was designed to buy time for
negotiations on a final settlement of the decade-old nuclear dispute.
Amid the third round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers in November, senior Iranian nuclear officials spoke of plans in Tehran to construct two new nuclear power plants in the near future, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported.
“The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has put construction of the second and third (nuclear) power stations on its agenda due to the government’s programs and the emphasis laid by the President (Hassan Rouhani),” Fars quoted AEOI Deputy Chief Hossein Khalfi as saying.
The Bushehr site is located in a highly seismic area on Iran's Gulf coast and began operations in 2011 after decades of delays.
The site is capable of holding six power reactors and Tehran has identified 16 sites elsewhere in the country suitable for other atomic plants.
The Russian-built plant is estimated to cost some $11 billion over four decades, making it one of the world's most expensive plants.
Reuters contributed to this report.