Tehran and Moscow inaugurated on Sunday a new phase of construction for a second reactor at Iran’s sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr on the Gulf coast. The reactor is one of two officially under construction since 2017 at the Bushehr site that is around 750 kilometres (460 miles) south of Tehran. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and deputy chief of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, Alexander Lokshin, attended the ceremony.
“In a long-term vision until 2027-2028, when these projects are finished, we will have 3,000 megawatts of nuclear plant-generated electricity,” Salehi said at the ceremony.
As part of the 2015 agreement, Moscow provides Tehran with the fuel it needs for its electricity-generating nuclear reactors.
Last week, in a step back from its commitments under a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Iran resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow plant. This came after the US extended its sanctions on Iran by targeting its construction sector, which the US linked to the country’s Revolutionary Guards. The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Iran had made "grave" decisions and its resumption of uranium enrichment was a "profound change" from Tehran's previous position.
Iran has been locked in a standoff with the United States and its Gulf Arab allies since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal that gave it relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.