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EghtesadOnline: Iran is ready to buy nuclear reactors from Japan if any proposed sales are accompanied by “lucrative commercial support,” according to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

“Of course if we receive any suggestion or any proposal from Japan that would sound very interesting to us. We would certainly be ready to enter into negotiations in that domain, Ali Akbar Salehi said in an exclusive interview with Kyodo News.

But Salehi said Iran has not raised the matter with the Japanese side yet.

“Japan is a very cautious country so we have to wait until things evolve. So we are not in a hurry. Whenever the Japanese are ready, we are ready,” he said.

Russia and China have already stabilized their positions as suppliers of nuclear equipment to Iran, which has a long-term plan to produce 20,000 megawatts of nuclear electricity by setting up 20 more nuclear power plants.

Last weekend saw Iran and Russia break ground to construct two new nuclear power plants valued at $10 billion, while Chinese companies are also keen to construct nuclear power plants in Iran, offering financial support, according to Salehi.

Some European countries “initially have started talks with Iran” in this domain, but no agreements have been reached yet, he said.

After operating a Russian-built and supported 1,000-megawatt power plant in southern Iran since 2012, and starting construction of two more with Russian help, Iran is going to construct new small power plants on its southeastern coast.

“Iran’s fourth power plant that we are going to build will be located in the Makran region of southern Iran. The Chinese have already visited that region for site selection, but we have not come yet to a final agreement,” he said.

 Dampened Relations

According to Salehi, about seven years ago, Japanese officials had shown interest in cooperating with Iran to construct new power plants.

However, international concerns over Iran’s nuclear development program led them to adopt a more conservative position of preferring to restart talks after the problems are resolved.

That transpired in July 2015 when Iran finalized a landmark deal with six major powers — France, Germany, Russia, China, Britain and the United States — with the aim of limiting its nuclear program in return for an end to economic and banking restrictions, reports Financial Tribune.

“Now we have the nuclear deal behind us, but we have not seen any indication as to whether Japan’s government or industry (will) enter into negotiations with us,” Salehi said.

The Iranian nuclear chief also showed interest in selling heavy water stockpiles to Japan.

Ali Akbar Salehi nuclear cooperation Iran-Japan cooperation