Reuters: Turkey has no plans for cooperation with Iran to build nuclear power plants, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday, a day after a senior Iranian official had floated the possibility.
ANKARA, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Turkey has no plans for cooperation with Iran to build nuclear power plants, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday, a day after a senior Iranian official had floated the possibility.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, a foreign affairs adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said in New York on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic was willing to share its nuclear technology with neighbouring countries, suggesting it could help Turkey build an atomic power plant.
“Iran is an important neighbouring country. We have oil and gas trade, but cooperation in the area of nuclear power stations is not currently on our agenda,” Yildiz told reporters.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog reported last week that Iran appeared to have worked covertly on designing atomic bombs and may be continuing research to that end, and Tehran is under U.N. sanctions over its disputed nuclear activity.
Larijani said that Iran was ready to share its nuclear capability with neighbours and friendly countries in the region.
“Turkey is for years trying to have a nuclear power plant but no country in the West is willing to build that for them,” Larijani said, adding that Iran did not have a “concrete proposal” for nuclear cooperation with Turkey or another state.
Energy-hungry Turkey has ambitious plans to build up a civil nuclear power capability and has been in talks with Russia and Japan about it. Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is among the firms interested in a Turkish deal.
Last year Turkey awarded Russia’s Atomstroyexport a contract to build its first nuclear power plant at Akkuyu on the country’s Mediterranean coast.
Larijani described last week’s International Atomic Energy |Agency report on Iranian nuclear activity as “a disgrace to the professionalism of this institution”. Iran says it wants nuclear energy only for electricity, not for bombs.
In his comments to reporters, Yildiz also said Turkey would sign an oil exploration deal next week and that the country was in talks with Shell Oil Co on the matter.
A story in Turkish newspaper Sabah on Wednesday said Turkish oil company TPAO and Shell had reached an agreement in principle on exploration in an exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea.