Iran's official news agency says Tehran has proposed building joint light-water nuclear power plants with neighboring Arab countries.

Sunday's IRNA report quotes the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh. He says Iran is ready to offer a proposal to Arab countries if they are interested.

Iran's Arab neighbors have been suspicious of the Persian country's controversal nuclear program, and several Arab countries have announced plans to develop their own nuclear programs.

The U.S. and some of its allies claim Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons — a charge Tehran denies.

Iran is building its first nuclear power plant with Russia's help. It is slated to open in 2009.