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9/16/03

No reasons for stopping nuclear cooperation with Iran: Russian Atomic Minister

Vienna, Sept 16, Itar-Tass/ACSNA/IRNA -- Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said there are no reasons for stopping nuclear cooperation with Iran.

He told Itar-Tass on Monday, "The construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr will be continued."

Rumyantsev is taking part in the IAEA General Conference currently under way in Vienna.

"Russian-Iranian cooperation does not breach international legislation," he stressed.

"Moreover, under the IAEA Charter, nuclear great powers obliged to help other states develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," the minister added.

He said after Iran signs an additional protocol on the return of spent nuclear fuel to Russia "certain amendments will be made to the contracts."

"Then we can raise the question of supplying fresh nuclear fuel to Iran," he pointed out.

A member of the Russian delegation at the IAEA General Conference told Itar-Tass, "Russian-Iranian cooperation in the nuclear field is peaceful and is in strict compliance with international agreements. The nuclear power plant in Bushehr is constructed under the IAEA auspices. During the inspections, specialists have not revealed any violations."

In addition, he said, "Moscow reiterated that nuclear fuel supplies will begin to Iran only after it signs an additional agreement on its obligatory return to Russia." Meanwhile, US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham held talks with the Russian minister as part of the IAEA General Conference. He said the US concern about Russia`s cooperation with Iran in the nuclear field increased.

On Washington`s position on the Iranian nuclear program and Russia`s participation in the construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, he said in light of the recent events regarding Iran`s nuclear program, the US concern about Russia`s cooperation with Iran not abated, but on the contrary increased.

... Payvand News - 9/16/03 ... --



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