Iran wants Russia's help with nuclear power

Aug. 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM

TEHRAN, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Iran is in talks with its Russian counterparts to discuss the possibility of building a new nuclear power plant in the country, the foreign minister said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week said his country would continue working with Russia on nuclear power facilities. He said Iran was interested in adding 20 gigawatts of nuclear power to the Iranian grid with the help of the Russians.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday the government wants to prop up the electrical grid.

"Iran has held consultations with the Russian side and soon an agreement of mutual understanding will be signed on the construction of a new nuclear power plant," he was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency as saying.

Iran is suspected of using its nuclear energy program as a front for weapons development, an allegation the government denies.

Rouhani last week said his administration is prepared to hold "serious and meaningful" negotiations over the nuclear impasse with members of the international community.

Iran in September started operations at the Bushehr nuclear plant with the help of Moscow. Russia operates and supplies fuel for the plant.

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