Nuclear power plant (illustration)
Nuclear power plant (illustration)Thinkstock

A year ago, Iran signed a nuclear deal with world powers lead by Barack Obama's US, the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," now the Iranians are using the privileges granted them by the deal to expand their nuclear activity, backed by Russia, Ynet reported.

Two power plants are planned to be completed in 10 years in the port city of Bushehr, in southern Iran, with the project costing an estimated 8.5 billion Dollars.

"Construction of the power plant is a symbol of Iran enjoying the results of the nuclear deal," said Senior Vice-President Ishaq Jahangiri at a ceremony marking the start of the project, "we will continue working with Russia as a strategic partner and friend."

Iran's sole operational nuclear reactor, also built in Bushehr with Russian assistance, produces 1,000 megawatts. It went online in 2011, and the two countries have agreed to cooperate on future projects.

Iran has a current capacity of 75,000 megawatts, nearly 90 percent coming from fossil fuels. It hopes to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear power in the next 15 years.

Russia also assisted Iran in building its already operational nuclear reactor, and the countries have agreed to continue cooperation in the future.

Iran is trying to expand its nuclear electrical power capacity by 20,000 megawatts through the new plants.

Head of Russia's atomic agency Sergey Kiriyenko said that the new plants will be built according to the highest of safety standards, particularly those adopted after the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The Iranians insist that the new reactors will not be used to enrich Plutonium to weapons-grade levels, but only for peaceful purposes of producing electricity.

Top official Ali Akbar Salehi said that, to this end, the project will be closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE) and that it is in complete compliance with the deal. The project is "a new page in the trend of our peaceful industrial nuclear activities," he claims.

So far, the world powers have not seen the Bushehr plant as a nuclear armaments risk, as the Russians - who supply the fuel for the plant - take away any spent fuel that could potentially be enriched to weapons-grade material.

Throughout the sanctions and negotiations process with the world powers, Iran has repeatedly claimed that it has never sought to develop nuclear weapons and that the purpose of its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.