Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday denied reports that Russia would stop construction on the nuclear reactor in Busheir if Iran were to expel UN IAEA nuclear inspectors, Israel Radio reported. Head of Russia's atomic energy agency, Sergei Kiriyenko, said in Moscow that the Busheir reactor would be operational within a year, and that in another six or seven months Russia would begin shipping nuclear fuel to Iran.
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Meanwhile, Lavrov also called on Friday for an investigation to determine whether Israel used cluster bombs in its offensive in Lebanon, Russian news agencies reported.
Lavrov's call for a probe came on the heels of a visit to the Middle East, where he faced Israeli charges that Lebanese Hizbullah guerrillas used Russian arms supplied by Syria in their war with Israel, and appeared aimed at least in part to counter criticism over the issue.
"In the interests of everybody and in the interests of turning this page for good, it is necessary to conduct such an investigation, to establish the facts and not to leave any disagreements," ITAR-Tass quoted Lavrov as saying.
The reports indicated that Lavrov did not specify who Russia believes should carry out the investigation. He said a probe is being conducted at the request of the Lebanese leadership, adding, "I think that bringing clarity on this question from an independent source wouldn't hurt," ITAR-Tass reported.