Iran says sanctions could force shutdown of nuclear power plant

Published on Mar 29, 2021 01:57 PM IST

Bushehr, developed by Russia and operational since 2011, is one of the oldest civilian nuclear power plants in the Middle East and is not regarded by the United Nations atomic watchdog as a proliferation threat.

Iranians drive past missiles by their motorcycle during a rally marking the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, at Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Iranians Wednesday began a vehicle-only rallies in cities and towns across the country to mark the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution. The decision for replacing traditional rallies and demonstrations by vehicle-only move came as a measure to prevent spread of the coronavirus as the country struggles to stem the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East with death toll nearing 59,000 and some 1.48 million confirmed cases of the virus. The country on Tuesday launched a coronavirus inoculation campaign. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)(AP)
Iranians drive past missiles by their motorcycle during a rally marking the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, at Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Iranians Wednesday began a vehicle-only rallies in cities and towns across the country to mark the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution. The decision for replacing traditional rallies and demonstrations by vehicle-only move came as a measure to prevent spread of the coronavirus as the country struggles to stem the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East with death toll nearing 59,000 and some 1.48 million confirmed cases of the virus. The country on Tuesday launched a coronavirus inoculation campaign. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)(AP)
Bloomberg |

Iran said its only nuclear power plant could stop operating this year as the country struggles to keep the unit running because of sanctions.

The Bushehr nuclear power station is “facing the risk of shutdown” because U.S. banking restrictions have made it difficult for the Islamic Republic to transfer money and procure necessary equipment, Mahmoud Jafari, a deputy at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency.

“Currency fluctuations and problems related to banking sanctions have complicated efforts to meet the reactor’s operational and maintenance costs and make payments to Russian contractors,” Jafari said.

Bushehr, developed by Russia and operational since 2011, is one of the oldest civilian nuclear power plants in the Middle East and is not regarded by the United Nations atomic watchdog as a proliferation threat. Most of Iran’s electricity is produced from natural gas.

Russia has signed an agreement to build two more 1-gigawatt nuclear reactors on the site of the existing reactor in a deal Iran said is worth $10 billion.

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