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  Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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Russia warned Iran that the physical launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant scheduled for September was impossible
Iran will discuss this issue at an extraordinary session of the Majlis Commission on National Security and Foreign Policy. Iran has not taken a decision on continuing financing the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, according to Atomstroexport. “Now we can say it is impossible to plan the physical launch of the reactor’s unit in September. Respectively there is no question over fuel supplies this month,” Atomstroiexport’s official said. Its representatives are currently holding talks on financing the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Tehran. Atomstroiexport representatives told Itar-Tass under these circumstances fuel supplies to the Bushehr nuclear power plant would not take place in March. Iranian partners realise this. “The leadership of Iran’s atomic energy organisation are not signing any document that will mention a decision on resuming financing the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant,” the official said. “Today we face Iran’s unprecedented attitude towards the Bushehr project, which contributed to Russian-Iranian cooperation. We have an impression that Iran’s atomic energy organisation is now not considering the Bushehr project one of its priorities. We can’t give any other explanation related to Iran’s refusal to sign concrete resolutions on the resumption of financing the project,” the official stressed. At the same time, the official said he is convinced that Iranian partners “realise the consequences of this situation because no preparatory procedures have begun yet.” Rapporteur of the Majlis Commission on National Security and Foreign Policy Kazem Jalali said a delay in putting the Bushehr nuclear power plant’s first unit into operation “meets the interests of opponents’ bid to expand relations between Iran and Russia”. “It is unacceptable for Iran to delay the completion of the Bushehr nuclear power plant because the Russian-Iranian agreement noted that the plant would be over in 2000,” the parliamentarian said. “We consider this plant a symbol of Iranian-Russian cooperation. It is natural that part of Iran’s society considers Russia a strategic partner. Those who come against expanding relations between Iran and Russia may benefit the delay in putting the plant into operation.” “Taking into account the latest talks between Iran and Russia and the press’ reaction on them, deputy head of the Iran’s atomic energy organisation, Mohammad Saidi, was invited to take part in an extraordinary session of the Majlis Commission on National Security and Foreign Policy in order to clarify the situation around the Bushehr nuclear power plant,” Jalali said. Russia and Iran started talks in Moscow on March 7. During the three-day discussions, the sides failed to take any decision. No documents were signed. An informed source close to the Russian delegation told journalists, “Financing in 2007 was practically foiled by Iran. The problem of equipment supplies from third countries was not also solved.” A contract on the construction of the Bushehr NPP first unit was signed in Tehran on January 8, 1995. Russia pledged to supply one water-cooled water-moderated reactor VVER-1000, train Iranian specialists, and deliver nuclear fuel. The project deadline was set at an additional agreement on September 26, 2006. Russia vowed to supply nuclear fuel six months before the reactor start-up, which means this March.
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