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Iran Says Russia To Start Building New Reactors

A senior Iranian nuclear official says Russia will begin construction on two new nuclear reactors in Iran next week.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, also said Iran's nuclear industry had grown with foreign collaboration in comments quoted by Iran's Mehr news agency on December 22.

Kamalvandi did not disclose any further details.

Last year, Russia clinched a deal with Iran to build an additional two reactors at Iran's first civilian nuclear power plant, which Russia helped build, near the southwestern city of Bushehr.

Russia's Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said on December 22 that his country was considering lending $5 billion to Iran next year.

"We're talking about providing a state credit, under the guarantee of the Iranian government," Manturov said.

Preliminary documents on the loan were signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Tehran in late November.

Based on reporting by dpa and Mehr news agency