Iranian nuclear facility (illustration)
Iranian nuclear facility (illustration)AFP photo

Just half-a-month after the Iran nuclear deal was signed in Vienna on July 14, the Islamic republic of Iran announced on Thursday that it plans to build two new nuclear facilities in its southeastern Makran region on the Indian Ocean.

Mohammad Ahmadian, Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced the plans as quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency.

"Two 100MW (megawatt) nuclear reactors will be constructed on Makran coastline of the Sea of Oman to generate electricity," Ahmadian declared.

Describing the project, he said, "at present, necessary studies to build the two power plants are being carried out through cooperation with 17 research institutes and consulting engineers companies."

The nuclear deal stipulates that Iran will not build any new uranium enrichment facilities for a period of 15 years.

While the newly announced nuclear power plants will not necessarily be used to enrich uranium - although they will at the least require enriched uranium in order to operate - Iran has a long history of lying about the military aspects of its nuclear program.

Ascertaining the usage of the new plants will be made all the more difficult because the deal gives Iran 24 days before any inspection.

It was revealed last Thursday in a Senate hearing that in classified sections of the deal the US agreed to let Iran test its own covert nuclear facilities.

Those facilities include the highly secretive Parchin military base, which Iran has admitted to using to test exploding bridge wire nuclear detonators and has refused requests by international inspectors to see the site.

The new announcement Thursday comes after Iran just this Monday announced construction on a $2.5 billion power plant in Iraq, Iran's largest such engineering services deal which serves as a sign of its expanding influence in Iraq.

The Iran deal has sparked fears of a regional nuclear arms race, after key sources in Saudi Arabia indicated their country will likely try to obtain a nuclear weapon as well following the deal. It also stipulates that the West will help Iran foil Israeli nuclear sabotage.