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Russia calls for expansion of nuclear cooperation with Iran

Secretary General of Russian National Security Council Vladimir Rushailo in a meeting in Moscow on Monday with Iranian Vice President and Head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh said that Russia attaches great importance to cooperation with Iran in peaceful use of nuclear energy, IRNA reported.

Iran is a member of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and signatory to the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is entitled to have access to international community for advanced nuclear technology, Rushailo underlined.

"We are in favor of broad-based cooperation with Iran in all areas including the peaceful use of nuclear technology."

As Russian President Valdimir Putin has previously said in a Group of 8 (G8) meeting in France, "Iran is our neighbor and Moscow is willing to expand relations with Tehran."The Russian official said.

Rushailo also referred to the issue of combating terrorism and drug smuggling as two areas of cooperation between the two nations adding that another area of collaboration is in Afghanistan.

The Russian official said Moscow is of the view that terrorism has no relation with Islam.

Aqazadeh in his remarks also stressed that Iran's peaceful use of nuclear technology is fully transparent and called for closer ties with Moscow in this area.

"Iran is keen on closer cooperation with IAEA which is monitoring Iran's nuclear safeguards."

We believe in peaceful use of nuclear energy and IAEA should strive to assist us in this respect.

The two sides also called for expansion of bilateral cooperation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Earlier on Monday Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev in a meeting with Aqazadeh here on Monday, said that nuclear cooperation between Iran and Russia is of strategic significance.

At the meeting, Aqazadeh, referred to the prospect of future joint cooperation between the two states in various fields including atomic energy and hoped that positive results will be achieved by both sides.

His proposal for submission of reports on Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and the return of spent fuel by Iranian experts and expansion of long-term bilateral ties were approved in today's meeting.

Aqazadeh congratulated the Russian Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Andrei Malishev on his appointment as president of the Russian committee in charge of controlling Iran's atomic programs and said, "His responsibility in Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant will be heavier than ours."

Addressing the meeting, Rumyantsev welcomed the Iranian delegation and termed the joint cooperation between the two countries in various domains specially nuclear energy as fruitful.

He reiterated that Bushehr Nuclear Energy Power Plant should become operational on schedule.

Also, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in a meeting with Aqazadeh stressed the importance of Tehran-Moscow mutual cooperation.

Aqazadeh, heading a high-ranking Iranian delegation, arrived in Moscow this morning and is due to leave on Thursday.

... Payvand News - 7/1/03 ... --

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