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NPP talks between Russia and Iran at final stage - Iran

RIA Novosti

15/10/2007 15:42 TEHRAN, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The talks between Russian and Iranian experts on the Bushehr NPP construction, in south Iran, are at the final stage, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Monday.

"We will be hearing good news concerning the construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in the nearest future," he added.

Later today, Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a two-day official visit to Tehran to meet with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and attend Tuesday's summit of Caspian Sea states. It is believed that the Bushehr NPP construction will be on the agenda during the bilateral talks in addition to Iran's nuclear program.

Russian nuclear equipment export monopoly Atomstroyexport has been building Iran's first nuclear power plant despite opposition from Western countries and amid international concerns that the Islamic Republic is pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program.

The plant's construction has faced repeated delays, with Russia accusing Iran of missing payment deadlines. Iran denies any funding problems, and has accused Russia of delaying tactics.

Iran recently intensified cooperation with the international nuclear watchdog (IAEA), which is reported to be satisfied following recent talks on Iranian gas centrifuges with Iran's leaders held on October 11.

Iran has around 3,000 functional enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear research center south of Tehran. The country's leaders previously said that they intended to install a total of 50,000 centrifuges at Natanz in a bid to make the country independent of nuclear fuel imports.

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