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Russia and Iran - nuclear power reactor

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TEHRAN, Iran -- Russia has denied its deal with Iran to speed up construction of a nuclear reactor will give Tehran access to nuclear weapons.

Russia and Iran say the $800 million project is aimed at producing electricity and both have rebuffed U.S. claims that the nuclear energy processed at the Bushehr plant will go towards making weapons.

Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said on his return from Tehran on Friday: "Iran is using nuclear energy exclusively for peaceful purposes.

"There are no programmes to create nuclear weapons or develop sensitive nuclear technologies."

Rumyantsev signed the deal with the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, on Wednesday, setting out the plan to build the plant.

Agreements on the return of spent nuclear fuel to Russia and the possibility of another plant being constructed have yet to be reached, The Associated Press reported.

Washington, which is already protesting at North Korea's and Iraq's alleged nuclear capabilities, has strongly urged Moscow to abandon the Bushehr project, alleging the Islamic Republic is working to develop weapons of mass destruction.

President George W. Bush has previously described the three countries, Iran, Iraq and North Korea, as being part of an "axis of evil."

Washington also questions why Iran, with its vast oil reserves, needs nuclear power.

But Russia and Iran say the Bushehr project is for peaceful, civilian use only and would remain under international control.

Rumyantsev said Washington had failed to show that Iran had broken any international regulations over the nuclear programme, Reuters reported.

"We always tell our American colleagues that all Iran-Russia cooperation is in accordance with international regulations and the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," he added.

Aghazadeh said: "We agreed to speed up the completion process of the Bushehr power plant... (and) to carry out feasibility studies for a second power generation unit. We hope to start a joint study in the next few months."

Moscow had said it would continue to participate only if Tehran agreed to return all spent fuel from the reactor to Russia -- a demand backed by U.S. nuclear experts.

Russia also says it would be hard to adapt the reactor for weapons production, but Washington disagrees.

Earlier this month, Washington alleged that two other nuclear sites under construction in central Iran were of a type that could be used in the production of nuclear weapons.

The Bushehr reactor -- begun by West Germany but interrupted by the 1979 Islamic revolution -- is due to come on line at the end of 2003.

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Originally posted by charrails

that would help ease the tensions in the middle east


Well, when Iran has promised that when they have Nukes, they intend to use them against Israel, should Israel just stand by and watch? I don't think so.

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Originally posted by dnice35

I HATE TOWEL HEADS............:mad:

Hmmm...what is a "towel head"? I would guess someone who wears something like a towel on their head..by that token, though, caps are made from the same material as towels, so I guess you hate everyone who wears caps?? :confused:


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