Russia to continue nuclear cooperation with Iran
The UN nuclear watchdog's failure to condemn Iran has reinforced Russia's will to help Tehran build up its nuclear program, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted in a report presented at a Vienna meeting last Wednesday that Iran had failed to report certain nuclear activities.
Yet, it stopped short of slapping sanctions on the country and merely called for it to accept stricter inspections of its nuclear sites.
"Since the IAEA issued no reproach, there is no reason to put an end to our cooperation," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told reporters, according to IRIB.
In a concession to US concerns, Russia has said it will deliver nuclear fuel to the plant only after Iran signs an additional protocol to the non-proliferation treaty allowing the IAEA to inspect all sites -- not just those it has declared.
"Russia was one of the initiators of such a protocol and we call on all countries, including Iran, to sign it," Yakovenko said. "We are for total transparency of Iran's nucler programs and we are for Iran's signing the additional protocol to lift the worries expressed by certain countries," he said.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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