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Iran cancels Zohreh satellite deal with Russia

Tehran, Feb 1, IRNA -- Iran has cancelled a deal with Russia over the purchase of the Zohreh telecommunications satellite after Moscow failed to provide required guarantees for the project, the press reported here on Saturday.

The Persian-language `Abrar-e Eqtesadi' daily quoted a member of Parliament Mines and Industries Commission Mohammad-Reza Ali-Hosseini as saying that the deal had not been finalized, stressing that Iran had entered negotiations with Russian enterprises for the purchase of another satellite, "Mesbah".

Ali-Hosseini said Iran's High Economic Council had approved the outlines of a bill to develop the deal with the cooperation of several national and international research institutes.

Iran's Minister of Post, Telegraph and Telephone (PTT) Ahmad Mo'tamedi had last April announced that Iran would sign a contract with the Russian company Uoya Export after it won an international tender to build and launch the Zohreh (Venus) satellite.

However, the announcement received the Parliament's criticism that claimed the Uoya Export was a "middleman" and that another Russian company, NPOPM, had a better claim to the project.

The deal in July sparked a spat between the Parliament and the PTT after the deputies prepared a bill to summon Mo'tamedi for his failure to consider the Parliament's objection to the project.

... Payvand News - 2/1/03 ... --

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