A senior Iranian nuclear official says the sole reactor at the country’s Bushehr nuclear power plant has reached full capacity.

Iranian deputy nuclear chief Mohammad Ahmadian said Saturday the reactor was brought to its “full capacity of 1,000 megawatts” on Friday evening. The reactor went into operation for the first time last year at minimum capacity.

The Islamic Republic built the nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr with Russian help.

The facility is a cornerstone of Iran’s drive to become a technological leader among Muslim nations, with efforts such as a space programme and long-range missile development.

The United States and some of its allies believe the Bushehr plant is part of an Iranian attempt to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusation.

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