TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the country has made preparations for a mega project to build nuclear propulsion systems and that serious steps have been taken to complete it.
In an exclusive interview with Press Shia on Sunday, Salehi pointed to the AEOI’s latest measures regarding an order by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to work on nuclear propulsion devices and said, “This project is a huge one that will take some time to complete.”
“We have started working on the preparations for the project and seriously seeking to complete it,” the official added.
"We have had good progress in this regard so far but, like I said, the project is huge and it is not basically something that can be finished today or tomorrow,” Salehi stated.
Currently, a large number of experts from the AEOI as well as a company are working on the project, the nuclear chief went on to say.
In December 2016, Rouhani issued a directive, ordering the AEOI to draw appropriate plans to design and manufacture nuclear propulsion devices to be used in sea transport.
The order was declared after the US Congress voted to extend an anti-Iran legislation known as the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another decade.
Recently, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has also ordered the AEOI to make preparations for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU (Separative Work Unit) without any delay in the framework provided by the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.
Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the Europeans.