“Following months of efforts, 16 new sites for nuclear power plants have been designated in coastal areas of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, [southwestern province of] Khuzestan and northwestern part of the country,” Press TV quoted the Atomic Energy Organization as saying.

The agency stated that the nuclear plants were being established for electricity generation only, and were in line with international standards.

The organization added that Iran has found significant new deposits of raw uranium to feed its nuclear program.

State news agency IRNA on Saturday said the deposits were found in “southern coastal areas” and had trebled the amount outlined in previous estimates.