Salehi: Russia Ready for Increased Nuclear Coop.

Salehi: Russia Ready for Increased Nuclear Coop.    Salehi: Russia Ready for Increased Nuclear Coop.

The Russians are set to help Iran upgrade its centrifuge machines to produce "staple isotopes", the nuclear chief said.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made the statement after talks with Sergey Kirienko, director general of Russia's state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, on the sidelines of the annual general conference of the International Atomic Energy Organization in Vienna on Wednesday, Fars News Agency reported.

On Russia's role in the implementation of the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, officially titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Salehi noted, "We held negotiations on possible plans for exchanging enriched uranium for the material in its natural form as well as a timeline for the start of the process."

Appreciating Moscow's positions in favor of Iran in the course of the nuclear talks with world powers, the official said Russia's initiatives greatly contributed to the finalization of the JCPOA, "which explains why our bilateral relations with Russia are so close now."

On the prospect of increased nuclear cooperation with Russia, the AEOI chief said, "They will help us improve our centrifuges, needless to say that lots of other countries have already expressed their willingness to cooperate with Iran in this regard."

According to Salehi, the first unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant has been operating well for four years without developing any serious defects and it is time for Iranian experts to run the plant independent of Russian specialists.

Kirienko is to visit Iran in the near future at the invitation of the AEOI to attend a ceremony to launch the construction of two new units of the Bushehr facility.