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Russia Sees No Concern Over Nuclear Iran
There is no room for Western concern over Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran, says the head of the Rosatom State Atomic Corporation.
Sergei Kiriyenko, in a joint Wednesday press conference with head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEO) Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh in Bushehr, addressed Western opposition to Moscow's nuclear cooperation with Tehran.
"Cooperation between Iran and Russia is based on international norms and conventions and it should be said that nothing is being done outside the non-proliferation framework," explained the Russian nuclear official in response to a question by Press TV's correspondent Gisoo Misha Ahmadi.
Kiriyenko added that those who seek to make excuses to hinder the Iranian nuclear program should "lose all hope as they witness the level of progress at the Bushehr power plant."
"Russia's cooperation with Iran in building the Bushehr power plant is not subject to any political games," he stressed.
The remarks came after Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, in an interview with RIA Novosti, suggested the West had launched a misinformation campaign against the Iranian nuclear program to force an end to Russia's nuclear presence in Iran for competitive reasons.
"Certain powers have sought to question the nature of Tehran-Moscow nuclear cooperation. It should be noted that their objective is to vie with Russia for Iran's nuclear market," Mottaki said in early February.
The West argues that Iran has sufficient oil and gas reserves for power generation and that it therefore needs no nuclear reactors.
However, Kiriyenko said Russia believes that under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog and while observing the non-proliferation rules any country can avail itself of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
"We believe that the structure in the Bushehr plant itself is in total conformity with the Non-Proliferation," said the Russian official.
He added that Russia's cooperation in building the Bushehr plant removes every doubt about Iran's nuclear intentions, as the whole project is transparent in its entirety.
"Anyone who thinks this project can be used for the proliferation of nuclear weapons can come here and see for themselves."
The start-up of the Bushehr plant is considered as a leap forward in Iran's efforts in developing nuclear technology, which the country insists it intends to use for peaceful purposes.
On the first day of the test run of the plant in the southwestern city of Bushehr Aqazadeh said the power plant would become operational in nearly seven months.
Without providing an exact timetable, the Iranian official said if the test stage goes "smoothly", the plant would become operational "sooner".