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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 18:47 GMT 19:47 UK
Iran may build 20 nuclear plants
Iran nuclear facility
Iran says it wants to resume nuclear enrichment
A senior Iranian MP has said Tehran is considering building 20 new nuclear power stations in the coming years.

Kazema Jalali, who heads the foreign affairs committee, said during a visit to Moscow that Iran's government would study a proposal backed by parliament.

He said he hoped Russia and other countries would contribute.

Russia is helping Iran build its first nuclear plant at Bushehr, opposed by Israel and the US for fear the facility might be used to build nuclear weapons.

Iran maintains that its nuclear technology is intended solely to produce energy.

The $800m plant is expected to open next year. A bilateral agreement with Russia in 2002 allowed for the building of up to five reactors in 10 years.

Fuel question

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was elected Iran's president last month, has said he wants to continue the nuclear programme.

Iran is currently involved in negotiations with the UK, France and Germany, which insist that it maintain its freeze on the enrichment of uranium, agreed in November last year.

Tehran has announced that it intends to resume the enrichment process, which it says it needs to make nuclear fuel.

In Moscow, Mr Jalali told Russian officials Iran still intended to produce its own fuel.

The process can also be used to make a nuclear weapon.

Iran's critics say it could be supplied with nuclear fuel from elsewhere, and Russia has agreed to do this.

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