Sunday, November 13, 2005

Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant 80% Completed — Russian Security Chief

The work to construct the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran has been over 80 percent completed, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov said during his three-day visit to Teheran in an interview with Itar-Tass.

According to Ivanov, the Russian specialists are actively working at the facility. The Iranian side does not hide it is interested in totally completing the building work in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the new Iranian leadership has confirmed the continuity of the policy to develop good neighborly relations with Russia. In the course of the sides discussed a wide spectrum of the two countries’ interaction both at the bilateral and regional levels. In the opinion of the Russian Security Council secretary, Russia and Iran have good prospects for expanding interaction not only in the atomic power industry, but also in the military-technical cooperation sphere.

Speaking about cooperation at the regional level Ivanov pointed out Russia has supported the Iranian request to be allowed to take part in the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an observer.

We believe this participation is useful in view of the fact that we have specific interests as regards regional cooperation with Iran, which for its part also takes an interest in the expansion of cooperation of this kind,” Ivanov stressed.

The Security Council secretary went on to say that Russia believes that the possibilities of the dialogue on the Iranian nuclear problem are not exhausted yet and is ready to assist the resumption of the negotiations between Iran and the European Troika.

Russia is coming out for solving all the questions emerging in connection with this problem by way of a dialogue, though active interaction with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” Ivanov said. READ MORE

We believe it would be useful to resume the dialogue in the previous format and we have not put forward any alternative formats and proposals,” Ivanov said. “We exchange views with Iran and with our partners in the IAEA in order to reveal the possibilities that Russia could use for easing tension.”

“The negotiating process should be continued for the sake of removing the remaining obstacles and for purposes of continuing cooperation in the implementation of nuclear programmes for peaceful purposes,” he added.

Ivanov pointed out that in the course of his visit to Teheran the two sides did not discuss any specific Russian proposals as regards the Iranian nuclear problem settlement.