Russia defies US on nuke construction

The US has called on countries to end all nuclear cooperation with Iran.

Iran Nuclear 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Iran Nuclear 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Russia on Thursday rejected a US call for Moscow to end its cooperation with Iran in constructing the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Foreign Ministry said. "The adoption of a commitment on ending cooperation with this or that state in some sphere lies exclusively in the competence of the UN Security Council," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement. "Up to now, the Security Council has taken no decision on ending cooperation with Iran in nuclear energy." US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday that the United States has called on countries to end all nuclear cooperation with Iran, including work on the Bushehr plant. He also said that countries should stop all arms exports to Iran. Kamynin said that every country "has the right to decide with whom and how it should cooperate." Russia's atomic energy chief also reacted negatively to the US call. Speaking in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, Sergei Kiriyenko said that Russia's work in building the US$800 million plant "fully meets all international norms and agreements." "All the spent fuel will be returned to Russia for reprocessing, so this cooperation creates no problems, no threats to the nonproliferation regime," Kiriyenko said in remarks broadcast on state television.