Iran nuclear plant
A general view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 1,200 km south of Tehran (photo from Oct. 26, 2010). Reuters

Iran and Russia will soon sign an agreement to build a new nuclear power plant in the Islamic Republic, announced Tehran's foreign minister and former nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi.

Tehran has announced the plans a week after the country's new president Hassan Rohani took over the leadership.

"Iran has held consultations with the Russian side and soon an agreement of mutual understanding will be signed on the construction of a new nuclear power plant," said Salehi, according to Iran's quasi-official Mehr news agency.

The senior official insisted that the new nuclear plant is intended for peaceful activities, which include power generation and also medicinal purposes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to hold talks with Rohani in early September as part of the Eurasian summit in Kyrgyzstan.

It was earlier speculated that Putin would visit Iran in mid-August soon after Rohani's inauguration as president.

"We need to get 20,000 megawatts of nuclear power. We have been negotiating on this. I hope that everything will develop according to schedule, and Iran will be able to continue to build nuclear power plants and continue to cooperate. The Iranian government will continue to negotiate with neighbouring countries, one of which is Russia, to develop peaceful nuclear energy," Rohani said during his inauguration.

Russian parliament speaker who attended Rohani's swearing-in ceremony also said Moscow is intending to work with Tehran on more civil nuclear power after Iran's Bushehr plant is fully commissioned in the coming weeks.

Iran has been reeling severe economic clampdown as Western nations say Tehran is building atomic weapons, a claim which is denied by Tehran.