Russia To Help Build 2 Nuclear Power Plants In Iran

By Irina Slav

Nuclear Power

Russian experts will help the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran build two 1,000-MW nuclear power plants, Iran’s Energy Minister told media. Construction will start soon, Hamid Chitchian also said, adding that a third joint power plant construction project with Russia, which will have a capacity of 1,400 MW, has already begun.

The announcement is part of deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran, expanding into a growing number of industries, from oil to defense and fisheries. Earlier this year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russian companies are “keen” on strengthening their ties with Iran, not least in the power plant construction sector. Energy-hungry Iran plans several more such projects, and it’s likely that Russian companies will be among the preferred bidders.

Yesterday, Iran’s ambassador to Russia said in a statement that Tehran would be happy to strengthen bilateral ties further, noting their joint stance on the political situation in the Middle East.

Energy is a big part of this cooperation between Moscow and Tehran. Russian companies are eager to develop Iran’s oil and gas reserves, and Iran is eager to expand its international footprint. In the short term, this cooperation will be mutually beneficial, but in the long run things may change as Iran looks to Europe as a potentially major market for its natural gas. This would mean stepping on Gazprom’s toes, although the state giant recently sealed a cooperation deal with its Iranian counterpart for joint development of local gas deposits.

At the recent visit of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to Russia, he and Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of the energy sector in bilateral relations and the possible formation of a free-trade zone spanning Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union: Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Political cooperation is also strengthening—Iran and Russia pretty much have only each other to rely on in the Middle East and are bound to continue supporting each other there.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Ted Wansley

    Considering the damage caused by nuclear power plants at Chernobyl and Fukushima, and considering that Iran has one of the world’s largest oil reserves, and considering Iran is earthquake prone due to fault lines within its borders, perhaps they should build petroleum refineries, rather than nuke plants.

    • gmatch

      Consider that Iran easily could go solar! Nuclear power is bad, because the storage of used fuel and waste is not solved and surely we can’t burn all fossil fuels. It is not so much climate change or global warming it is the pollution which will reduce humanity.

  • Cranford Ducain

    I think it is some kind of “poetic justice” for the Russians to work on such a jroject in Iran. It was a part of Valery Plames job in the CIA to work as a consultant for the American company doing the same work before Dick Cheney, I mean, scooter Libby “outed” her as an agent. Actually she had been in Iran only a few months before she was ‘outed” making this a federal crime; but all Scooter got was a “wag of the finger’ and “don’t do that again”.