Report: Bushehr plant to launch on time

Russian official reiterates Russia's commitment to finishing project this year.

Iran Nuclear 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Iran Nuclear 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Russia is committed to launching Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station on schedule this year, a senior Russian official said on Sunday according to the state news agency RIA-Novosti. "Russia will strictly observe its obligations to finish the Bushehr project on schedule," RIA-Novosti reported Security Council head Igor Ivanov as saying during talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Teheran. Last year, Russia agreed to ship fuel to Bushehr by March 2007 and launch the facility in September, with electricity generation to start by November.
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Fuel from the plant potentially could be diverted and used to produce bombs, although Iran has promised to return to Russia the fuel it delivers for the Islamic Republic's first nuclear power station. Oil-rich Iran claims its nuclear program is peaceful and has rejected international pressure to halt enrichment of uranium, a process that could produce its own fuel for nuclear power generating or material for atomic weapons. Russia in December supported limited UN sanctions against Iran after watering down initial proposed punitive measures that would have imposed curbs on the Bushehr project.