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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Energy Min: Moscow not engaged in any bargain over Iran

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Bushehr, Dec 1, IRNA – Russian Energy Minister said here Monday Moscow has not got engaged in any bargain against Tehran as it is obvious, thanks God, and will not ever do so.

Sergei Shmatco made the comment replying to IRNA’s question on Russia’s positive vote to the recent anti-Iranian IAEA resolution in his joint press conference with the Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi.

Shmatco further emphasized, “I have many friends in Iran and relying on their strong backing we intend to expand the sphere of our bilateral, traditional cooperation.”

He said, “There is a research aspect about the Bushehr issue and I am personally interested in putting this reactor to full actual use.”

The Russian minister reiterated, “Today we announced that the Bushehr Nuclear Plant is unique in terms of the complicated facilities and the technology used in its construction and that there are hardships and difficulties in completion of the work, but all the same we have reached this phase and the delays have been due to the occurrence of certain unfavorable technical conditions.”

The Russian Energy Minister added, “Mr. Salehi supports us in this respect that we have left behind the technical hardships and we are not going to return to them.”

Referring to the IAEA anti-Iranian resolution, Shmatco said, “There has been no bargain between Russia and the west over Iran’s nuclear program and the agency’s decision was adopted by the 5+1G.”

He added, “I believe there are still ways for logical pursuing of the negotiations and solving this crisis without raising objections at either end. I hope Russia would seek a solution to Iran’s dispute with the IAEA.”

• Salehi: Bushehr Nuclear Plant to be put to use soon

The Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi in response to IRNA’s question about the time of putting to use the Bushehr Plan, and whether some western media’s prediction that it would be around the beginning of the Iranian New Year, said, “I do not want to speak about a specific date, but according to our Russian friends’ promises, this plant would be put to use as soon as possible.”

Referring to the comments made by the Russian Energy Minister, he said, “I would like to add two points to the answers presented by Mr. Shmatco.
“The time and place necessities have turned the relations between Iran and Moscow a strategic cooperation.”

The vice president added, “Due to time, place, and political necessities we are obliged to have a strong, strategic cooperation with the Russian side in various fields.”

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization said, “We must have cooperation with Russia in political, cultural, industrial, commercial, trade, and entire other fields, and there is no other option before us, and this is to the benefit of both countries.”

Salehi added, “The second point I wish to add regarding Iran-Russia relations is related to the Middle East status.”

He emphasized, “No country in the world can achieve a noticeable political position unless it has a strong presence in the Middle East today and Iran is the gate for entering this region, while Russia is our northern neighbor and this has a message.”

• Bushehr Plan’s construction process proceeding successfully

A reporter said that the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had said that Bushehr Nuclear Plant would be put to use by the end of the year 2009, but as we see that was another unmet promise, so when this plant would be actually put to use?

Sergei Shmatco replied, “Based on the promise we had vowed to the people, we tried during the past three years to keep it. We had promised to finish this power plant successfully.”

He pointed out that constructing a nuclear reactor is a difficult and complicated technological task, arguing, “The construction of a nuclear power plant is not even comparable to the manufacturing of a watch, whose hands might gain, or lose time. If there is mutual trust between the two sides, such matters are of trivial importance, but being open and transparent is of course important.”

The Russian Energy Minister emphasized, “If you would ask my Iranian counterparts about the fruitfulness of this cooperation, they too, would confirm that mutual trust does exist in various phases of this work.”

Shmatco added, “In our tour of the Bushehr Plant along with Mr. Salehi we noticed that the completion of the plant is progressing successfully and this can obvious be judged observing the newly installed facilities.”

He said, “There is no need to set any new date. All I can say is that it has been years that we have been working on this project jointly; there is a shared feeling of responsibility between us, and this power plant would be put to full use in a short while.”

• Bushehr Nuclear Reactor in need of 5% enrichment

A reporter asked whether Russia, as a member of the IAEA Board of Directors, and a UN Security Council permanent member, considers Iran’s move for 20% enrichment of uranium a legal move, or not?

Shmatco replied, “The technology we have applied in the construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant is in need of 5% enrichment, so higher enrichment is related to the technological and scientific aspects of the matter.”

The Russian Energy Minister reiterated, “20% enriched fuel is used in research reactors and I emphasize we have no kind of cooperation with Iran in that respect.”

• Bushehr Nuclear Plant’s construction approaching its end

A reporter asked Salehi about the future of Iran-Russia nuclear cooperation.

He replied, “We have had problems in the past. Some of these problems have been beyond our wills and some have been imposed on us because of the necessities of the time.”

The head of Iran’s Nuclear Energy Organization reiterated, “What I can say here is that since the construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant is approaching its end, I am optimistic about the future of our relations and I think we would have a bright future ahead, which naturally depends on negotiations.”

The vice president pointing out that any kind of cooperation is in need of initial mutual understanding, adding, “As we noticed during today’s visit, and as we had noticed during our visit of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant a few months ago, the Russian and Iranian colleagues are cooperating quite intimately with each other here aimed at completing the reactor’s construction and this is a good capital for the future of our bilateral cooperation.”

• Cooperation to continue

Sergei Shmatco, too, replied to this question, “Cooperation between us would continue beyond doubt and that is because a joint company would be commissioned to manage the facilities of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant and we have already established that company, which is why we know that cooperation would continue.

• Iran must produce 20.000 mega bites of nuclear power annually

A reporter asked whether Russia would be commissioned to construct any new sites in Iran after the completion of Bushehr Nuclear Plant. Salehi replied, “In accordance with a ratification at the Parliament, we must produce at least 20, 000 mega bites of nuclear electricity annually.”

The vice president reiterated, “Of course that objective would be achieved in the course of a 15 to 20 year long term horizon and in that respect cooperation with Russia, keeping in mind the records of our past cooperation, would have a very high priority.”

• Construction of 10 enrichment centers

A reporter asked whether foreign investments would be used in construction of the ten new uranium enrichment centers that President Ahmadinejad recently referred to the government’s ratification of their construction order, and whether the shares of those centers would be presented to the public at stock exchange centers, or not.

Salehi replied, “The manager of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant is the Production and Development State Company.”

The Vice President added, “The Atomic Energy Organization has two sub-companies the first of which is called the Production and Development State Company that is in charge of the development of the country’s nuclear plants and the other one is commissioned to provide fuel for the country’s nuclear plants.”
The head of the Nuclear Energy Organization said, “These two companies, in accordance with the Supreme Leader’s order and due to state interests, would not be privatized and therefore for a long period of time their shares would not be presented at stock exchange centers.”

He added, “In accordance with the government ratification, the entire investments for the construction of the new ten enrichment centers would be made by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

• Russia’s positive vote to IAEA anti-Iranian resolution not to affect future of cooperation

A reporter asked whether Russia’s policies regarding Iran are reliable as they used to be in the past, adding, “Why did Russia vote positively to the IAEA resolution against Iran?

Shmatco said, “I believe the two countries’ record of past ties shows that such cooperation would continue and I can say that in such a framework we would gain better results based on humane and spiritual indexes, leading to greater cooperation in the future.”

He referred to the emerged negative attitude due to the said vote, arguing, “You should heed the point that such resolutions had been proposed many times in the past and Moscow’s approach in various occasions should be kept in mind.”

The Russian Energy Minister added, “Russia pursues its own internal policy regarding Iran and based on a statistical survey it is easy to gain a fair judgment about it.”

He reiterated, “Russia has announced its viewpoints regarding the IAEA Board of Directors’ resolution and I emphasize that no one has issued any decree against anyone else that would affect the future of our cooperation!”

The Russian official referred to the two countries’ cooperation in the construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant, arguing, “I can positively stress that our positive vote to the board of directors’ resolution would have no negative effect on the future of our cooperation.”

• Intrigues against Tehran-Moscow ties

Salehi, too, referred to the psychological war launched by the westerners against Iran-Russia relations, arguing, “We need to remain quite alert regarding this issue.”

The vice president reiterated, “At any rate, both the international relations and the intergovernmental ties are subject to ups and downs and we need to pay attention to the positive and affirmative aspects all the time.”

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization emphasized, “Paying attention to the negative and dark points would not only solve no problem, but would also create worries and lead to acquiring a feeling of emptiness.”

• Increased interactions between Iran and Russia

The Russian energy minister replying to a question regarding the 8th Joint Iran-Russian Economic Cooperation Meeting held earlier in the day in Tehran, said, “Mr. Mottaki was the head of the Iranian side and I was the head of the Russian delegation.”

Evaluating the meeting as “constructive and positive”, he said, “The potential for bilateral interactions is higher than the current three-billion-US-dollar trade and it was agreed mutually that it must be increased.”

Referring to the reached agreements at the meeting, he said, “We came up with the conclusion that cooperation between the two counties with such huge oil and gas resources need to be at a much greater scale and it was agreed that the matter would be pursued at both ends.”

Referring to the signed agreements between the two sides, the Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatco said, “The atmosphere is quite ripe for constructive cooperation between the two countries and at the 8th Joint Iran-Russian Economic Cooperation Meeting it was clearly announced that such ties must be canalized in their real natural route.”

The Russian Energy Minister said, “At this meeting we had negotiations on the establishment of oil, gas, and electricity work groups, and also reached agreements on the need for establishment of scientific relations in energy research field.”

The Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, too, said at the end of the press conference, “We appreciate the round-the-clock efforts made by the people working at this site and hope for near future putting to use of this beautiful symbol of Iran-Russia cooperation, God willing, one day.”

He added, “The important 25 Bar Test was completed successfully and we hope the next tests, too, would be completed as successfully, paving the path for putting to full use this plant.”

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