Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian says the country has restarted negotiations with Russia to build a new nuclear power plant capable of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity.
“Talks are underway to construct a new 3,000-megawatt nuclear power plant to increase electricity generation capacity to 4,000 megawatts from the current 1,000 megawatts,” Tasnim news agency quoted Ardakanian as saying on Saturday.
Iran already runs one Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr, its first. Russia signed a deal with Iran in 2014 to build up to eight more reactors in the country.
Why it matters: The resumption of talks between Tehran and Moscow come at a time when the United States is ramping up economic pressure on both countries. Iran in particular is looking to fill the void left by European companies leaving the Iranian market. Russian companies working in Iran have an advantage over European rivals, as they are already under US sanctions and have nothing to lose.
“Russian companies will continue doing business in Iran as if nothing happened at all—in oil, gas and nuclear energy. They have this advantage over the Europeans who, like Total or Airbus, have major businesses in the US and are listed on American exchanges,” Petr Pushkarev, TeleTrade’s chief analyst told RT.
Companies from Russia can simply ignore Washington’s threats of imposing fines for trade with Iran or for conducting projects in Iran, the analyst said.