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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iranian official to discuss NPP, fuel supplies with Russia

RIA Novosti

10/05/2006 17:54

TEHRAN, May 10 (RIA Novosti) - A senior Iranian official has arrived in Moscow to discuss the launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant and nuclear fuel supplies, the Iranian embassy in Moscow said Wednesday.

An embassy spokesman said Mohammad Saidi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, will have talks at the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power.

"The high ranking Iranian official will also meet with Sergei Shmatko, president of Atomstroiexport [Russia's nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly]," the diplomat said, adding that "construction of the nuclear power in Bushehr will be the focus of these consultations."

Russia is helping Iran build an $800-million nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

Iran has come under heavy international pressure to re-impose a moratorium on its nuclear research program, which some countries say is being used as cover to develop a nuclear bomb. The Islamic Republic has denied the allegations, and says it is interested only in nuclear power for civilian purposes.

Before leaving for Moscow, Mohammad Saidi said he would have talks Thursday with nuclear agency head Sergei Kiriyenko.

"In the course of these negotiations we will discuss fuel supplies for the Bushehr nuclear power plant and the final date for the plant's launch," Saidi said.

He said Russia "has expressed readiness to take part in a tender to build two new nuclear power plants" that Iran is planning to hold within the next two months.

Sergei Kiriyenko said earlier Wednesday that Russia needs open, fair competition conditions on global markets to realize its energy potential, adding that the present-day climate the distinction between peaceful and military use of nuclear energy is very narrow.

"Russia's key position is that broad access to civilian nuclear power must be guaranteed, while at the same time there must be a guarantee that weapons of mass destruction will not proliferate under any circumstances. Russia holds this position both in discussions over the Iran issue, and in developing new means to ensure non-proliferation," Kiriyenko said.

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