TEHRAN, Sept. 2 (UPI) — Following an announcement of new U.S. sanctions on Iran, an energy official in Tehran said the country is looking to vastly expand its nuclear power capacity.
Ebrahim Karkhaneh, the director of a nuclear energy subcommittee in the Iranian parliament, said Iran is already generating 1,000 megawatts of power from its Bushehr nuclear power facility. Studies are under way to expand that output, in part with the help of Russia, which already supplies nuclear fuel to Bushehr.
"We hope that the country would be able to increase nuclear power generation to 8,000 megawatts," Karkhaneh said Monday.
The U.S. Treasury Department last week unveiled what it said was a diverse new set of sanctions meant to curb Iran's nuclear and missile ambitions.
Iran secured relief from some sanctions last year in exchange for curbing its nuclear research activity, though U.S. Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said Washington is committed to targeting anyone "involved in expanding Iran's proliferation program."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he was optimistic about reaching a nuclear agreement with members of the international community, but viewed U.S. policy as "dangerous and unconstructive."