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Iran favors Russia for nuclear projects

19 August 2010 1:59

An Iranian envoy says Moscow’s commitment to complete the Bushehr nuclear power plant has made Russia a favored contractor for future nuclear projects in the Islamic Republic.

“Considering Russia’s expertise… in constructing the Bushehr nuclear plant, the country will be given priority for future nuclear cooperation with Iran,” Iran’s ambassador to Russia, Seyyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, told the Mehr news agency on Wednesday.

Iran’s long-delayed nuclear power plant is scheduled to come on stream in the southern city of Bushehr when the fuel is loaded into the reactor on Saturday.

Sajjadi noted that the inauguration of the plant will clear up “misunderstandings that Russia has been using the Bushehr nuclear plant as a [political] card.”

The Iranian envoy stated that the launch of the nuclear plant will open a new chapter in relations between the two countries.

Western corporations began the construction of the Bushehr facility in the 1970s. However, following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Western companies reneged on their commitments and pulled out of the project due to political pressure imposed by Washington.

Iran then turned to Russia to complete the project. In 1992, Tehran and Moscow signed a deal to complete the construction of the nuclear power plant.

The Bushehr plant was originally scheduled to be completed in 1999, but its start-up has been repeatedly delayed.

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