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Iran urges Azerbaijan to release Russian nuclear cargo "urgently"
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12:59, April 28, 2008

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Iran on Sunday urged Azerbaijan to "urgently" release a cargo of Russian parts for Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Talking to reporters during his weekly press briefing, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said the Russian side, due to its commitment to Iran, was following up the issue and was trying to resolve it.

Azerbaijani customs and border officials have halted the cargo of Russian heat insulators destined for Bushehr nuclear plant.

The cargo was stopped at Astara, on the border between Azerbaijan and Iran, on March 29 and has not been released yet, IRNA reported.

The Iranian ambassador to Baku was working to settle the problem and prepare the ground for dispatch of the cargo to Iran, Hosseini noted.

The issue is within the framework of Iran-Russia cooperation regarding the Bushehr nuclear plant, he said, adding that the issue is based on international regulations and no obstacle is acceptable in its way.

Located in southwestern Iran, Bushehr plant is the country's first nuclear power station, but operation of the plant has been long delayed.

Iran has said it would put Bushehr power plant into operation with its half capacity in the summer of 2008, but the Russian contractor Atomostroi export said last December that it would take at least one year to start the operation.


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