Iran on Saturday began construction of a new nuclear power plant in the country's southwest. The decision comes amid tensions between the two countries over sanctions imposed after the US pulled out of Iran's nuclear deal with other countries. This announcement has also been made at a time when anti-government protests took place across the country after the death of a young woman in police custody in Iran.
The country's official TV and radio agency informed that the construction of the new plant with a capacity of 300 megawatts of power generation, named Karoon, will take eight years and cost about two billion dollars. It said the plant would be set up in its oil-rich Khuzestan province near Iran's western border with Iraq.
Nuclear Power Plant at Southern Port
The opening ceremony of the construction site was also attended by Mohammad Islami, head of the Civil Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Who first unveiled the construction plans for Karoon in April. Iran has a nuclear power plant at the southern port of Bushehr that went online in 2011 with Russian help but also has several underground nuclear facilities. This step is being seen as a significant increase in the country's nuclear program.
60 percent uranium
Experts have warned in recent months that Iran now has enough 60 percent enriched uranium to be reprocessed into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb. The move was condemned by Germany, France, and Britain, the three Western European nations that remained in the Iran nuclear deal. Recent efforts to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, which eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, have stalled.