Iran negotiating with Russia over construction of new nuclear plants

Iran’s deputy FM warns new sanctions would kill talks; 200 Iranian MPs, support bill to require 60% enrichment if new sanctions imposed.

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December 29, 2013 20:39
1 minute read.
Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor

Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor 311 Reu. (photo credit: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)

 
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Iran and Russia are in discussions about the construction of four new nuclear power plants.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced on Iran’s Channel 1 on Saturday that the new plants will help solve the country’s energy needs, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.

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He said three or four plants would be built according to the 20-25 year plan to provide 20,000 megawatts of electricity.

Nuclear energy is both economical and environmentally advantageous, he said.

In November, Salehi said he hoped construction of the country’s second nuclear plant would begin in early 2014, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported.

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant was started by Germany in 1975. In 1995, Russia agreed to finish the construction, and operational control of the plant was finally handed over to Iran in September.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi warned on Sunday that new sanctions would kill the talks with world powers over its nuclear program.

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“Approval of any bill to impose [fresh] sanctions on Iran will stop the Geneva negotiations,” he said according to Fars.

“The negotiations with the US are merely confined to the nuclear issue,” said Araqchi regarding rumors of negotiations on other issues.

Two hundred Iranian MPs, up from 100 on Wednesday, support a bill that would require 60 percent enrichment if new sanctions are imposed on the country.

“The final approval of the motion will obligate the administration to… enrich uranium at the 60% purity level if the P5+1 imposes fresh sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Iranian lawmaker Seyed Mehdi Moussavinejad told Tasnim on Wednesday.

Moussavinejad said the move is in retaliation for Congress’s new efforts to pass anti-Iran measures.

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