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Iran, Russia sign nuclear fuel agreement opposed by US

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Feb 27, Kyodo/OANA/IRNA -- Iran and Russia on Sunday signed an
agreement for Moscow to supply fuel to Iran`s new nuclear reactor 
despite US objections to the deal. 
Gholamreza Aqazadeh, head of Iran`s Atomic Energy Organization, 
and Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia`s Federal Atomic Energy 
Agency, signed the agreement at the Bushehr nuclear power plant under 
construction in southern Iran. 
"Today, a very important development occurred, and that was the 
protocol on returning nuclear fuel, which we signed together. In the 
next few weeks, many Russian technicians will arrive in Bushehr to 
speed up the assembly operation" to finish the plant, Rumyantsev told 
a press conference with Aqazadeh, according to the Associated Press. 
Under the deal, Russia will ship enriched uranium fuel to the 
plant, with Iran repatriating all spent nuclear fuel to Russia, a 
requirement aimed at allaying US concerns. 
Washington has expressed fears that Iran may use the spent fuel, 
which could be reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium, to develop 
nuclear arms. 
At a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US 
President George W. Bush in Slovakia on Thursday, both sides agreed 
Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Putin said he 
believed Iran had no intention of doing so. 
Iran has maintained its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful 
purposes, while the United States accuses it of secretly pursuing a 
nuclear weapons program. 
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