Iran nuclear chief says he has agreed with Russia to pay a 500-million euro debt in installments to keep civilian nuclear reactor projects going.
Mohammad Eslami, vice president and head of Iran’s atomic energy agency visiting Russia has said on Wednesday that he has reached an agreement about gradual payment of Tehran’s debts to Moscow.
Iran had previously said that it owes 500 million euros for services Russia rendered to maintain the Bushehr nuclear power reactor. Russia built the reactor and continues to assist Iran in maintaining its operation.
The official government news website IRNA quoted Eslami as saying that he met with Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Russia’s Rosatomand negotiated an agreement for installment payments to clear its debt, which has gone unpaid for 22 months. Eslami expressed hope that with this agreement current projects can proceed without major disruptions.
Iran is expanding the Bushehr reactor by planning to add phase two and three reactors to generate more electricity. The country suffers from a chronic shortage of electrical power, with daily outages that cripple industry and anger home consumers.
The Bushehr reactor is not part of the current nuclear dispute between the West and Iran, as Russia handles the nuclear fuel cycle. Iran has been enriching uranium at other facilities and stockpiling more purified fissile material that has alarmed the United States and its European allies.