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Iran has not paid Russia for Bushehr NPP building for month - source

RIA Novosti

19/02/2007 13:09 MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has not paid Russia for the construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr for a month, a source in the Russian currency control bodies said Monday.

Russia is building Iran's first nuclear power plant under a $1 billion contract signed in 1995. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in the second half of 2007, after the original date at the end of 2006 was put off.

"The Iranian side has not been making payments for the building of the Bushehr NPP," the source told RIA Novosti, adding that difficulties emerged after Iran prohibited payments in U.S. dollars and made a transition to payments in euros.

The Bushehr facility in southern Iran has been a source of international dispute, with the United States and other Western countries raising concerns that Iran may use the project as part of a covert weapons program. Iran has consistently denied that its nuclear program has military goals.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in December imposing sanctions against Iran.

Russia, a key economic partner of Iran, has consistently supported the Islamic Republic's right to nuclear power under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and has resisted the imposition of harsh sanctions.

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