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Russia continues nuclear cooperation with Iran, despite wide criticism

Bushehr, Feb 27, IRNA -- Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency Chief Alexander Rumyantsev said in Bushehr on Sunday that despite wide criticism against Iran-Russia nuclear cooperation, Moscow intends to continue its collaboration with Tehran based on international laws.

photo: ISNA

After signing an agreement obliging Iran to return spent fuel of the Bushehr Power Plant to Russia, he added that the ongoing cooperation is in full accordance with the international regulations and that his country has never violated the relevant laws.

Turning to the fact that Iran has been complying with the protocol banning the weapons of mass destruction, he stated that Iran has inked the IAEA nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) additional protocol to facilitate the transparency of its nuclear activities.

"Given that there are five atomic powers in the world, no other countries should possess nuclear weapons. On the other hand, some world states are equipped with fuel cycle facilities, while the cycle is not only limited to extraction of uranium and its enrichment.

"One phase of the fuel cycle complex is located at the nuclear reactor so that after being spent, the fuel can be maintained in the power plant for a limited time, after which it will either be sent to another country to be kept permanently or be reprocessed," he added.

photo: ISNA

The Russian official underlined that based on the IAEA letter of association, the countries developing nuclear technology are required to help other states to gain access to it.

"Russia will provide the fuel of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, while Iran should in turn guarantee to return the spent fuel to enable Russia to reprocess it for permanent storage," he added.

He referred to the document signed on return of the spent fuel by Iran as a significant event and noted that during his inspection of the ongoing project in Bushehr, he was almost convinced that it will be implemented on schedule.

photo: ISNA

Rumyantsev promised that a number of Russian experts will arrive in Bushehr in the coming weeks to help install the relevant equipment.

He stressed that a classified document has been signed by the wo sides, in which the order and time schedule of returning the spent nuclear fuel to Russia is listed in details.

"The only thing I can say about the agreement, is that it is in full accordance with the technical process required for sending the spent nuclear fuel," he concluded.

Rumyantsev and Aqazadeh arrived in the southern city of Bushehr on Sunday morning.

photo: ISNA

The high-ranking Russian official and his entourage inspected various parts of the Bushehr Power Plant, while being accompanied by the Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam Reza Aqazadeh, deputies, and experts as well as domestic and foreign reporters.

The Iranian and Russian nuclear chiefs are scheduled to attend a press conference after signing of the protocol.

... Payvand News - 2/27/05 ... --

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