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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to ship equipment to finish Iranian nuclear plant

RIA Novosti

17/10/2008 16:59 TEHRAN, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will soon ship around 1,000 tons of equipment necessary to complete the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, a top Iranian nuclear official said on Friday.

"There is an agreement that within four months the Russian side will ship around 1,000 tons of equipment needed for the Bushehr nuclear power plant," Ahmad Fayazbakhsh, the deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told Iran's IRNA news agency.

Russia is building the $1 billion Bushehr facility in the south of Iran under a 1995 contract. The project is subject to UN monitoring following Iran's refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program and Western suspicions that Tehran is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

Russia's nuclear power chief Sergei Kiriyenko said in early June that preparations for the launch of the Bushehr project, including nuclear fuel operations, would start in the fall. He said with confidence that the safety of nuclear fuel storage was not in doubt.

The Iranian foreign minister said on October 7 that the Bushehr nuclear power plant would be commissioned in the first half of 2009.

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