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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran expects Russia to supply fuel for NPP by end of month

RIA Novosti

11/03/2007 15:54 TEHRAN, March 11 (RIA Novosti) - Iran expects Russia to supply nuclear fuel for Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant by the end of March, despite disagreements over the financing of the plant's construction, an Iranian official said Sunday.

Russian specialists are completing the construction of Iran's first NPP under a $1 billion contract signed in 1995, but Russia claimed last month that Iran had an unpaid debt for its construction services, and said that as a result construction might take longer than previously expected.

The Russia-Iran talks held in Moscow March 7-9 on Tehran's outstanding debt for the Bushehr NPP construction produced no positive results.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Iran is implementing its obligations in full and hopes Russia will also abide by its obligations and supply nuclear fuel within the specified time limits.

According to Hosseini, the fuel should be supplied in the next two weeks in compliance with the agreement reached earlier.

A delegation of Russia's Atomstroyexport, the project's contractor, is set to fly into Iran Sunday to continue talks on the further construction of the Bushehr NPP, the company's spokesman said.

The Bushehr facility has been a source of international dispute, with the United States and other Western countries raising concerns that Iran could 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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