Iran to develop nuclear program–will cooperate with IAEA

Ali-Akbar Salehi

Newscast Media TEHRAN—The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced Wednesday that the Islamic Republic has plans to develop its nuclear program and is ready to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog on “outstanding issues.”

Ali-Akbar Salehi, head of AEOI, said that the Islamic republic has plans to construct new nuclear power plants on the Persian Gulf coast, Press TV reported.

“What we have in mind is to build (nuclear) power plants on the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea coasts, but we have prioritized the Persian Gulf shores as we are going to pave the way for desalination of water for the southern provinces,” Salehi was quoted as saying by Press TV.

He did not provide further details about the plan but reiterated earlier remarks of Iranian officials to build more nuclear power plants across the country. Renewal of the remarks is significant as the Islamic republic and some world powers are preparing for “serious” nuclear talks next month.

Salehi also said Iran will operate a production line of enriched UO2 (uranium dioxide) in three months, Tehran Times daily reported on Wednesday.

The enriched UO2 would be used to provide nuclear fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, said Salehi. UO2 is a black, radioactive and crystalline powder that naturally occurs in the mineral uraninite. It is used in fuel rods for nuclear reactors.

On Sept. 23, Iran took over control of Bushehr nuclear power plant from Russia. Salehi said that during the first two-year period, Russian engineers would provide support to Iranian technicians, who after two years would completely control the plant.

On Sept. 27, Iran expressed its willingness to reach an agreement with the IAEA over nuclear inspection after the talks between Iranian new negotiation team and the UN nuclear agency in Vienna.

The first tentative talk, after the appointment of Iran’s new negotiating team, was announced to be constructive and to continue on Oct. 28.

Reza Najafi, Iranian new ambassador to UN nuclear agency, said he was looking forward to reaching an agreement in the future with the agency.

Source: Xinhua