Officials familiar with the situation say that Russia and Iran are close on a deal to build as many as eight new nuclear power-generating reactors inside Iran, and that such a pact might be signed later this year.
Russia built Iran’s Bushehr Power Plant, and the reported deal suggested two of the new reactors would be placed inside the same compound as the existing plant, with others elsewhere in the nation.
Iran has been keen to increase their nuclear power generation, not only to satisfying growing electricity demands, but to free up some of the oil used in oil-burning plants for export.
Though the nuclear power plants pose no weapons risk, Western nations have objected to Iran’s enrichment facilities, which produce fuel for the Bushehr Plant domestically, arguing that the enrichment sites could conceivably be re-purposed to produce weapons-grade uranium.
Which is not possible as a practical matter because the enrichment facilities are under constant video surveillance by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The addition of more reactors might spark more Western condemnations, since Iran would naturally need more fuel for more plants, though the final deal with Russia might include Russian provision of the fuel as well as the plants.