An Iranian official says his nation's Russian-built nuclear power plant has suffered an electric generator malfunction.

Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi, Iran's ambassador to Russia, was quoted by the ITAR-Tass news agency on Monday as saying the flaw at the Bushehr plant wasn't caused by recent earthquakes in Iran.

Sajjadi said Russian and Iranian experts are trying to fix the problem, without saying when it occurred or whether it led to the plant's shutdown.

Iran has defied Western demands that it halt nuclear programs it could use for weapons. The Bushehr plant is not considered a proliferation threat, but some nations have claimed that long cracks in part of it could affect its safety.

Persistent technical problems have halted the plant's operation for long periods since it started up in September 2011.