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Russia: Nuclear Plant Shows Iran's Right To Peaceful Nuclear Energy

Source: RFE/RL

Russia's nuclear chief has said Iran's first nuclear power plant shows that the Islamic republic is entitled to peaceful nuclear energy. Russia is due to begin to load fuel into the reactor at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station on August 21.

The head of Russia's nuclear agency, Sergei Kiriyenko (let), with Reza Aqazadeh at a press conference at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in February 2009

Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear agency, said the Russian-built Bushehr plant showed that Russia fulfills its obligations. He said the plant's activities would be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"This is a large, global, international project that once again shows that if Iran develops peaceful nuclear energy under the control of the IAEA while complying with all international legal norms, then Iran, like any other country, has that chance," Kiriyenko said.

Iran had earlier criticized Russia for delays on the $1 billion project, which it agreed to build in 1995.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on August 18 called the plant "a most important anchor which keeps Iran within the regime of nonproliferation."

Western countries have been critical of Russia's involvement in building Iran's first nuclear power plant.

Moscow says Bushehr plant is purely civilian and cannot be used for any weapons program.

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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