Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran and Russia to sign deal on Bushehr Plan`s nuclear fuel in near future

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Feb 13, IRNA -- Iran and Russia might sign the protocol on 
exporting Russian nuclear fuel to Iran`s Bushehr Nuclear Plant and 
return of the use fuel to Russia within the next two weeks, 
according to a concerned Russian official. 
The Russian Energy Ministry official, who announced the news in 
an interview with Russia`s Interfax news agency on Friday on 
condition of anonymity, added, "The controversial protocol, that 
would pave the way for making functional Iran`s Bushehr Nuclear 
Plant, and Russia`s access to the major part of its money for 
completing the said plant, would be signed very soon, and no later 
than a fortnight from now." 
The official said, "The two countries` officials have already 
reached a common stand on the signing of the protocol in question, 
and during the next couple of weeks, its technical details would be 
finalized." 
He emphasized, "When that protocol would be signed by the two 
countries` concerned officials, there would be practically no more 
obstacles on the way for making operational the Bushehr Nuclear 
Plant." 
The Russian official said that the delay in preparing the 
documents related to the export of Russian nuclear fuel to Iran was 
one of the major causes leading to the delay in Russian Energy 
Minister Alexander Rumyantsev`s upcoming visit of Iran. 
Rumyantsev was formerly scheduled to have a three-day visit of 
Iran, starting on February 15th. 
Meanwhile, a Russian Energy Ministry spokesman said here on 
Friday that Rumyantsev`s visit of Iran has been postponed till March. 
Rumyantsev and Iran`s Ambassador to Moscow Gholamreza Shafei had 
on Wednesday reviewed cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear energy. 
At the meeting, the two sides stressed further expansion of 
nuclear cooperation particularly after signing up the additional 
protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by Iran. 
The Russian minister had also expressed hope that he could visit 
Iran soon. 
Iran and Russia do not have major differences in the atomic energy
cooperation, according to the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign 
Ministry Hamid Reza Asefi, who says, "I do not know exactly the agenda
of the future negotiations, but I can assure you that Iran and Russia 
do not have major differences in this respect." 
They only have to settle some technical problems in the 
construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, "mostly the return
of spent nuclear fuel to Russia," he said. 
NA/214 
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