Envoy: Iran, Russia keen to develop nuclear cooperation

SHAFAQNA – The Iranian Ambassador to Russia said Tehran and Moscow are determined to develop their peaceful nuclear cooperation.

In an interview with the Moscow-based Rossiya Segodnya news agency, Mehdi Sanaei said Iran and Russia signed agreements in 2014 on the construction of the second and third units of Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.

He said that the two countries also signed a contract on the production of nuclear fuel last year.

According to the envoy, Iran and Russia are not expected to ink a new nuclear agreement in 2015 as they seek to implement the already-signed deals.

After signing a deal on the construction of nuclear plants in 1992, Tehran and Moscow reached an agreement in 1995 to complete Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, but the project was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial problems.

The plant became officially operational and was connected to Iran’s National Grid in September 2011, generating electricity at 40-percent capacity.

The 1,000-megawatt plant, which is operating under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reached its maximum power generation capacity in August 2012.

In September 2013, Iran officially took over from Russia the first unit of its first 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant for two years.

In another interview on Tuesday, the diplomat touched on the issue of the long-delayed delivery of Russian-made S-300 defense systems, saying Tehran expects Moscow to meet its contractual obligations to deliver the systems to Iran.

“Iran continues to view the S-300 contract as legitimate and not a subject of international sanctions as it was signed before the introduction of sanctions and the (S-300) is a defensive rather than an offensive system,” Sanaei said.

Under a contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 defense systems.

Moscow, however, refused to deliver the systems to Tehran under the pretext that they are covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions against the Islamic Republic.

Following Moscow’s failure to deliver the systems, Iran filed a complaint against the Russian arms firm Rosoboronexport with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva.





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