Salehi Highlights Gains of JCPOA

Salehi Highlights Gains of JCPOASalehi Highlights Gains of JCPOA

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said the recognition of Iran's enrichment activities by the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, was "a very good achievement" of the nuclear agreement with major powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"We are among the very few or probably the very exceptional countries whose enrichment activity has been recognized by an international body such as the UN Security Council," the AEOI head said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Saturday.

"One of the achievements within this framework is the fact that we were able to sell or we got this opportunity to sell our enriched uranium and get in return natural uranium or the yellowcake."

Salehi described JCPOA as a "good deal" that allows Iran to enter the club of countries that can enrich uranium and sell it in the global market.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council—the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia—plus Germany started to implement JCPOA on January 16.

After JCPOA went into effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were lifted. Iran in return has put some time-bound limitations on its nuclear activities. The nuclear agreement was signed on July 14, 2015, following two years of intensive talks.

Salehi said Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have entered into a new phase of cooperation and urged the body to remain impartial.  

"The IAEA, being the sole verifying body, needs to keep its integrity and impartiality. Otherwise, its credibility will be undermined," he said.

  New Power Plants

Salehi said the Islamic Republic is set to begin the construction of two more nuclear power plants in the southern city of Bushehr soon.

"In the construction of nuclear power plants, as I have already stated, within the next few months, we will hopefully be witnessing the launch of new reactors. Activities are going on and they are expanding even in some areas."

He added that Iran and Russia have signed agreements for the construction of "two big reactors in Bushehr".

In November 2014, Tehran and Moscow struck a deal to build eight more nuclear power plants in Iran.

Russia has already built a power plant in Bushehr. The agreement for the Bushehr nuclear power plant was finalized in 1995, but the project was delayed several times because of technical and financial issues.

The 1,000-megawatt plant, which is operating under the full supervision of IAEA, reached its maximum power generation capacity in August 2012.

In September 2013, Iran officially took delivery of the first unit of its 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant from Russia.