Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Russia

Russia is going to continue its "nuclear cooperation" with Iran:

Russia will pursue its nuclear cooperation with Iran, where it is building the Islamic state's first nuclear reactor, but expects Tehran to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, a top Russian official said on Tuesday.

"We will continue to cooperate with Iran in the peaceful civilian nuclear field as there have been no instructions to the contrary by relevant international bodies," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told reporters.

"Russia is pushing for active cooperation between Iran and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association) and hopes that Iran will continue to collaborate with it," he added.

Russia has faced intense pressure over its construction of the Bushehr reactor from the United States, which fears that Iran could use fuel from the reactor for a weapons program, though Washington has toned down its criticism in the past several months.


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