Russia is to deliver the first reactor for a nuclear power station it is building in Iran next month, the Russian atomic energy ministry announced Tuesday, October 2. Most of the material to be used in the first tranche of the nuclear project at Bushehr, in western Iran, will be delivered at the start of 2002, the ministry announced, as quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.
The latest details of Russia's cooperation with Tehran in the nuclear sector, strenuously opposed by the United States — which regards Iran as a rogue state — and Israel, emerged as Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani held talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov.
Thousands of Russian technicians and engineers are working on the project, whose first tranche is due for completion in 2003, the ministry said. Discussions on the construction of a second tranche could begin later this year, it added.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, during a visit to Moscow last March, expressed concern at mounting delays in the construction of the Bushehr power plant, ordered in January 1994 after the German constructor Siemens withdrew in the face of US pressure.
Washington and Jerusalem fear that the Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation could enable Tehran to acquire the technology needed to build nuclear weapons, an accusation that Russia dismisses. ― (AFP, Moscow)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )