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6/15/04

Iran: Bushehr's first reactor to be launched in 2005 - Russian official

Moscow, June 15, Itar-Tass/ACSNA/IRNA -- Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency believes that the International Atomic Energy Agency is not against the Bushehr nuclear power plant construction project in Iran.

"The IAEA has no objections to make against Russia building the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran," Russian atomic energy agency spokesman Nikolai Shingaryov said, as the IAEA Board of Governors met in a session in Vienna.

Shingaryov said in the report by the IAEA Director General Mohammed El-Baradei not a single word was said about Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant project.

In the report the IAEA raised concerns over how Iran had been using uranium enrichment equipment and over the scale of this activity.

"According to IAEA sources, this equipment Iran has purchased from other countries without notifying the IAEA has proved to bear traces of highly enriched uranium," Shingaryov said.

Russian Atomic Energy Agency sources said, "Russia has no reasons for curtailing its cooperation with Iran in completing the construction of the first Bushehr reactor, scheduled to be launched in 2005.

"Negotiations will be continued on Russia's participation in the construction of a s econd Bushehr reactor," Shingaryov said.

IAEA specialists last year inspected all of Iran's nuclear facilities, including Bushehr, on more than 600 occasions.

"No convincing evidence that the Iranian nuclear program may have a military aspect have been found," the Russian Atomic Energy Agency said.

The IAEA Board of Governors will most probably adopt a mildly worded resolution to ask the Iranian leadership to provide answers to all questions without an exception and to suspend the national nuclear program until all circumstances involving the purchase of centrifuges have been clarified, Shingaryov said.

Moscow feels, though, that the IAEA Board of Governors is unlikely to close the Iranian theme altogether, and it will be on the agenda again at the IAEA general assembly in September.

... Payvand News - 6/15/04 ... --



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