Iran Welcomes Arab Neighbors’ Access to Civilian Nuclear Technology


Iran underscored on Tuesday that it welcomes acquisition of civilian nuclear technology by its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and proposed to share its experiences with them to this end.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi was asked to comment on the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s efforts to build nuclear power plants, and said, “We will be happy if the Islamic and developing countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, can gain access to this technology based on their rights enshrined in the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and the (International Atomic Energy) Agency’s statute and we don’t have any concerns in this regard.”

Describing Iran as a pioneer fighting to restore the developing countries’ rights to use peaceful nuclear technology, he said, “If they want to enter the arena of civilian nuclear activities, we will welcome and will be happy.”

“We are ready to transfer our experiences to these countries and we are prepared to set up a joint nuclear energy council in the Persian Gulf (region),” Salehi underlined.

His remarks came after Mohammed Al Hammadi, the chief executive officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, announced that construction work on the first of the four units of the UAE nuclear power plants is progressing fast as 61 per cent of the work is complete.

The UAE is building four units of 1,400 megawatt each to produce nuclear power plants, in Abu Dhabi’s Western region’s Baraka area bordering Saudi Arabia. The units will start coming up online one by one from 2017 through 2020, adding 1,400 megawatt of electric power to the Abu Dhabi power grid.

Also, Saudi Arabia has announced plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years at a cost of more than $80 billion, with the first reactor on line in 2022.

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