TEHRAN, Russia will begin building two nuclear power plants in Iran next week, in the city of Bushehr, where Russian specialists helped build Iran’s first nuclear power plant.
Negotiations are ongoing, Behrouz Kamalvandi, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Iran’s Mehr news agency.”Certain steps were taken which have brought about good conditions with regard to decreasing the number of centrifuges,” Kamalvandi said, adding that details about the nuclear power plants will be revealed in the coming days.
Kamalvandi said Iran’s nuclear industry has grown with foreign collaboration. Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Moscow is considering lending Iran $5 billion in 2016, possibly as part of a larger free-trade deal between the two countries.
In late November, Russian President Vladimir Putin eased restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran, which will allow Russian companies to more easily do business with Iran.
Iran’s first nuclear power plant was built near Bushehr over the course of 40 years. Construction on the plant began prior to the Iranian Revolution in 1979 with the German company Siemens assisting. Russia stepped in to help in 1998, and after several delays over several years, the plant finally began operating at full capacity in 2012.