MOSCOW (AP) – Russia signed a contract Tuesday to build two more nuclear reactors in Iran to be possibly followed by another six, a move intended to cement closer ties between the two nations.
The deal comes less than two weeks ahead of the November 24 deadline for Tehran to sign an agreement on its nuclear programme with six world powers. Tuesday’s contract has no immediate relation to the talks that involve Russia and the United States, but it reflects Moscow’s intention to deepen its cooperation with Tehran ahead of possible softening of Western sanctions against Iran.
Nuclear officials from the two countries signed a contract Tuesday for building two reactors at Iran’s first Russia-built nuclear plant in Bushehr.
Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia’s Rosatom state corporation, and Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi also signed a protocol envisaging possible construction of two more reactors in Bushehr and another four in an undetermined location.
“It’s a turning point in the development of relations between our countries,” Salehi said after the signing, according to Russian news reports.
Rosatom said in a statement that the construction of the new reactors will be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.