Iran’s sole nuclear power plant undergoes emergency shutdown

The report came as senior diplomats said Sunday’s talks between Iran and world powers had made further progress in an attempt to re-establish a groundbreaking 2015 deal to contain Iran’s nuclear development that was abandoned by the Trump administration . It is now up to the governments involved in the negotiations to make political decisions.

Earlier in the day, Tavanir released a statement saying that the Bushehr nuclear power plant would be repaired, without giving any further details. The repair work would take until Friday, it said.

In March, nuclear official Mahmoud Jafari said the facility could shut down because Iran cannot source parts and equipment for it from Russia due to banking sanctions imposed by the US in 2018.

Bushehr runs on uranium produced in Russia, not Iran, and is overseen by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA admitted that it was aware of reports on the facility but declined to comment.

Construction of the plant on the coast of the northern Persian Gulf began in the mid-1970s under the Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the facility was repeatedly targeted in the Iran-Iraq war. Russia later completed the construction of the facility.

The facility, which is located near active fault lines and was built for strong earthquakes, was regularly shaken by tremors. No major earthquakes have been reported in the region in the past few days.

Meanwhile, the European Union chaired the final meeting of the sixth round of talks between Russia, China, Germany, France, Great Britain and Iran on Sunday in Vienna.

The nations involved in the negotiations have tried to resolve the most important outstanding questions of how the US can be returned to the groundbreaking nuclear deal from which then President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington in 2018. Trump also restored and tightened sanctions to achieve this, forcing Tehran to renegotiate the pact with further concessions.

The meeting was the first since the Iranian justice chief’s landslide victory in the presidential election last Friday. Some diplomats have expressed concerns that the election of Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi could make a possible return to the nuclear deal more difficult.

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