Iran said that it plans to build 16 new nuclear reactors across the country, ahead of talks with six major powers on its nuclear programme, scheduled to commence on Tuesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

According to a statement, issued by the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), sites have also been identified for the construction of reactors including Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman on the southwestern province of Khuzestan and another location in northwestern part of Iran.

Several uranium deposits were also discovered in Iran in the last 18 months, which have taken the country’s estimated uranium reserves to 4,400t from 1,527t, marking a three-fold increase and improving its position among the nations possessing nuclear technology, reported Reuters citing state news agency IRNA.

AEOI head Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani was quoted as saying at Iran’s annual nuclear industry conference that, "We have discovered new sources of uranium in the country and we will put them to use in the near future."

Iran has been saying since long time that it intends to build more nuclear power plants to meet electricity needs as it currently has only one in the southern city of Bushehr.

The latest developments are expected to provide negotiation power in the talks with six powers known as the P5+1- US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany, but also anticipated to slim down the chances of achieving positive outcome.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was also quoted as saying in the conference that the country will not accept more responsibilities and less rights.

"We are meeting all of our obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and we should be able to benefit from our rights," Jalili added.

The country is also drawing criticism from the West for equipping a facility in Natanz with new-generation centrifuges capable of producing higher-grade uranium much faster.