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Entire Iran's nuclear project in Bushehr under IAEA control, says Russian FM

London, March 3, IRNA - Iran's nuclear reactor in Bushehr poses no risks to peace in the Middle East and Moscow has received no protests from the west about its assistance on the project, says Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.

"IAEA is the monitoring mechanism for everything we do in Iran in the area of nuclear power plant. The entire project is under IAEA control," Lavrov said.

Russia had "discussed it with our friends, with my colleagues in the US, France, the UK and Germany. They fully understand what we are doing in Iran. They don't have any complaints about it," he said in an interview Wednesday with the BBC's Newsnight programme.

Last weekend, Moscow completed the signing of an agreement with Tehran to supply fuel to new nuclear reactor in Bushehr, which is expected to be the first to come on stream in Iran.

"It has nothing to do with the Middle East peace process," the foreign minister said when asked whether Russian's nuclear cooperation with promoted the interests of peace.

He said it had to do with two things, namely "our relations with Iran" and in the country's "legitimate interest in having energy supplies."

"It also has to do with (the) non-proliferation regime," Lavrov said. "The non-proliferation regime was not violated," he said.

Under Article IV of the 1987 Non-Proliferation Treaty, all signatory countries have the inalienable right "to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination."

It also reaffirms that all parties "undertake to facilitate and have the right to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy."

The aim is to preclude any inhibition of a country's right to peaceful nuclear technologies as long as the technology is not used to produce nuclear weapons.

Under the agreement with Russia, Iran is to return spent nuclear fuel rods from the reactor as a safeguard to banish fears that Iran might misuse the rods to build nuclear weapons.

In a separate concern, Iran is currently involved in negotiations with Britain, France and Germany to reach a long-term agreement on its nuclear programme and is mainly centered on the country's right under the NPT to enrich its own uranium.

... Payvand News - 3/3/05 ... --

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