Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi rejected any deceleration in the civilian nuclear program, giving an assurance that nuclear activities are vigorously progressing in all areas.
“With all my scientific, technological and administrative experience in the nuclear field for some 50 years, I insist that the nuclear industry has not been shut down and the work is going on,” Salehi said on Monday at a meeting in Tehran organized by the Professional Center for Journalism, an Iranian NGO active on foreign policy issues, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“While the nuclear activities are in progress, there are plans for a major boost to the nuclear industry,” he said. Referring to a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Baku on Monday, Salehi said the two presidents discussed the beginning of construction of two new nuclear power plants in Iran with the assistance of Russia.
“Once the two presidents give their approval to the beginning of the construction plan, a project worth $10 billion will kick off, causing a jump in Iran’s nuclear industry,” he said. Back on January 31, Salehi had announced that Iran and Russia have signed agreements for the construction of “two big reactors” near the southern port city of Bushehr.
In November 2014, Tehran and Moscow struck a deal to build eight more nuclear power plants in Iran. Russia has already built a power plant in Bushehr. The agreement for Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant was finalized in 1995, but the project was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial issues.
The new project follows the implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, which came into force in January.