Due to American sanctions, Iran said its only functioning nuclear power plant could stop operating this year as the country struggles to keep the unit running due to financial troubles, Bloomberg reported on Monday, based on a report by the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).
According to the report, Mahmoud Jafari, a deputy at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that the Bushehr nuclear power station was “facing the risk of shutdown” because US banking restrictions have made it difficult for the Islamic Republic to transfer money and procure necessary equipment.
Developed by Russia and operational since 2011, Bushehr is one of the oldest civilian nuclear power plants in the Middle East.
“Currency fluctuations and problems related to banking sanctions have complicated efforts to meet the reactor’s operational and maintenance costs and make payments to Russian contractors,” Jafari said.
The announcement came only a few hours after the Biden Administration said they are considering offering Iran this week a new nuclear agreement that would include a lift of the economic sanctions.
Indeed, the United States is trying to break the nuclear deadlock with Iran and is planning a new proposal that would include some sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic, according to a report by Politico.
Biden administration officials plan to put forth a new proposal to restart nuclear talks between Washington and Tehran as soon as this week, two people familiar with the situation told Politico.