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Iran denies Russia's claim on debt for Bushehr Plant completion

Tehran, March 15, IRNA - Deputy International Affairs Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) expressed wonder here Wednesday over remarks by head of Russian Federal Atomic Energy Organization on Iran's debt as reason for Russia's latest delay in completing Iran's Bushehr Power Plant.

Mohammad Saeidi added in an interview with IRNA, "Tehran has from October 10th, 2006 to March 14th, 2007 paid the Russian contractor of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant 75 million US dollars and six billion rials (less than US $600,000)."

He added, "In addition to those amounts, as of March 1st, 2007, we have be engaged in transferring another $18,200,000 into the account of the Russian company, Atomstroyeksport."

Head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Organization Sergei Kirienko has claimed in an interview with Russian media that Iran has lost interest in completing its Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and ever since mid-January it has not paid us even one kopek for the completion of its one billion dollar Bushehr facilities.

Saeidi reiterated, "As the head of the Russian Federal Atomic Agency is aware, the Iranian side's payments to the Russian contractor has so far been in dollars and rials, therefor he is right in saying that the Iranians have paid no kopek to the Russians, and I can add we have paid them no rubles either within the past eleven years!" The Deputy Intentional Affairs Head of country's Atomic Energy Organization referring to the September 26th Amendment of Iran's contract with Atomstroyeksport, reiterated, "In addition to the amounts I mentioned earlier, there is a seventy million dollar L/C that is permanently open for the Russian contract to withdraw from for its shipments from the Russian factories."

He said, "It Would be much better to resort to rationalism, logic, and the deposited amounts, for which there are undeniable documents, rather than politicizing, and resorting to sentiments in such technical affairs."

Saeidi added, "One possibility is that the top official at Russian Federal Atomic Agency has not been sufficiently informed about financial transactions before making those remarks."

The Iranian official said, "The Russian Atomic Agency that has during the course of the past few months spent noticeable efforts to accelerated the trend of Bushehr Nuclear Plant's completion is definitely aware that the Iranian nation has been waiting for more than thirty years for putting to use that plant."

Saeidi added, "During the course of the past decades, too, different governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran have made comprehensive efforts aimed at shortening the time for making operational the Bushehr Power Plant."

He added, "Keeping in mind that out of the one billion dollar Bushehr project, Iran owes only some 100 million dollars to Russia, the remarks of the head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency are not only illogical, but also quite astonishing."

Saeidi expressed hope that the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency would within the next few days more seriously pursue the authenticity of the two sides' claims, and seen into the Russian contractor's meeting of its commitments within the framework of the September 26th, 2006 Amendment to complete Bushehr Plant in September 2007 and to put it to use.

He concluded his remarks announcing Iran's full readiness to cooperate with the Russian contract in accelerating the process of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant completion.

Iran appears to have "lost interest" in completing the nuclear power plant which Russia is helping it build at Bushehr, Russia's top nuclear official said Wednesday.

"I'm astonished. Maybe the Iranian leadership isn't completely informed, but there's an impression the Iranian side has lost interest in the construction" of the Bushehr nuclear power station, Sergei Kirienko, chief of Russia's federal nuclear energy agency, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

"From mid-January, not a single kopeck has been paid" to complete the one-billion-dollar (760-million-euro) plant, which would be Iran's first, Kirienko told journalists during a visit in the Italian city of Bari.

The Bushehr plant was scheduled to be launched in the autumn but has been repeatedly delayed as Moscow and Tehran have argued over financing and technical difficulties.

... Payvand News - 3/15/07 ... --

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