Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Aqazadeh seeks Iran's partnership in Bushehr power plant

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Sept 25, IRNA

Iran's Vice President Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh said here Monday that Iran has proposed to the Russians to give a share to Iranians in the project for completion of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.

Aqazadeh, also head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said that Iranians' contribution to the project will expedite its implementation.

"Should we face any problem in the process of completing Bushehr nuclear power plant project, we will act ourselves," warned Aqazadeh.

Pointing to the national acute energy shortage in the coming years, Aqazadeh said that under a Majlis approval for generation of 20,0000 megawatts of nuclear energy, necessary investment will be made for the purpose in coming years.

The Energy Ministry has conducted extensive research on energy generation whose outcome would be revealed in a month, he added.

"In view of the oil price hike, energy generation would not be economical except by establishing nuclear power plants -- as the Energy Ministry has pointed out," said Aqazadeh.

Asked whether there is any row among the 5+1 coalition, Aqazadeh said, "No; but I think the countries have become more wise and the main reason for the problem had been the information that they had obtained through the International Atomic Energy Agency."

He said the Group was under wrong impression that Iran's nuclear technology and know-how has gone beyond the research level.

For now, he added, Tehran and Group of 5+1 are debating confidence-building measures and some of the countries are casting more realistic look at Iran because today, the country is among the world's nuclear states.

He said Iran's strong determination in the development of nuclear power plants is an indication of presence of lucrative market for it.

He said the states have come to realize that cooperation with Iran will be more beneficial for them.

Asked about the proposal raised by some states in recent IAEA session in Vienna for establishment of the nuclear fuel bank, Aqazadeh said a long way is ahead for establishment of international nuclear fuel bank and countries cannot achieve the goal swiftly.

The reason for failure in hitting the target is difference of opinion among those who initiated the proposal, he added.

According to the Iranian nuclear official, the US believes that countries should not be permitted to enrich uranium and instead, the nuclear fuel guarantee should be replaced by article four of the NPT.

Europeans want to divide the world market and Russians too are looking for absorption of capital needed for restructuring their nuclear system, said Aqazadeh, adding that therefore, Russians are welcoming investment but do not agree with transfer of technology.

The International Atomic Energy Agency also does not consider its own business to see who wants to produce nuclear fuel and how, rather it wants all the ways leading to the Agency itself.

Through the nuclear fuel bank, the Agency is in fact trying to assume control of countries and the fuel cycle, he added.

This is while, other states are doubting promises of the founders of the bank with respect to the existing realities, he noted.

Aqazadeh arrived in Russia to discuss the situation linked with the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

He will hold talks with Rosatom's Sergei Kiriyenko during his two-day visit to the Russian capital.

According to the available information, the main attention at the Moscow negotiations will be devoted to the final time limit for commissioning the first energy unit of the Bushehr plant and also to the time limits for the delivery of Russian nuclear fuel to Iran needed for the initial fuelling of the nuclear power plant.

The sides are expected to sign an agreement on these problems.

Kiriyenko had earlier stated that according to the schedule in force the commissioning of the Bushehr power plant is to take place in September 2007 and its connection to the country's power network -- in November.

"The construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant has nothing to do with Iran's nuclear program, which is now under discussion," he stressed.

"There are no risks of uranium being enriched at this station and of nuclear materials being used for any other purposes but peaceful," Kiriyenko stated.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, in turn, that there were no grounds for any sanctions against Iran and for 'any hurry-scurry'.

"Russia had never fixed any artificial time limits for the settlement of conflicts. The main point is that our goal is to guarantee the immunity of the non-proliferation regime," the minister noted.

"Russia is not sitting on its hands and is not waiting for the outcome of EU High Representative Javier Solana's talks on Iran, but is actively working with the Iranian colleagues to ensure the most favorable results of such contacts," Lavrov stressed.


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