Iran's Bushehr plant to be started this year: Russian FM

09:42, March 10, 2010      

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed Tuesday that Iran's long-delayed Bushehr nuclear power plant would start up this year.

"The Bushehr nuclear power plant will be launched this year. Adjustment and aligning work is now being done," Lavrov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Lavrov did not specify when the plant would be started, saying that Russia's state nuclear giant Rosatom was in charge of the timetable.

Iran's 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant was originally constructed in the mid-1970s by Siemens of Germany but was abandoned with the outbreak of the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran and Russia, after reaching an agreement on nuclear cooperation in 1992, signed a contract in January 1995 to finish the construction of the plant. The start of Bushehr has been postponed frequently in recent years.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, has been frustrated with Tehran's resistance to cooperate with the international community over its controversial nuclear program.

Moscow has signaled that it would back new sanctions against Iran provided they target Tehran's nuclear proliferation activities only.

The West has accused Iran of secretly building nuclear weapons under the disguise of a civilian program. Tehran denies the charge, saying the program is for peaceful nuclear energy.

Source: Xinhua
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