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    WASHINGTON ON MOSCOW'S DECISION

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 12, 2004, /RIA-NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT ALEXANDER BRATARSKY/ -- The US Administration is only partially satisfied with Moscow's decision to return spent nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear power plant (NPP) now being constructed in Iran. This was stated here today by US Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow.

    This decision on Moscow's part means that Iran won't use spent nuclear fuel in its own uranium-enrichment program, Vershbow went on to say. He was speaking at the local International University.

    Nonetheless, Washington has information to the effect that Iran keeps implementing its own uranium-enrichment program; consequently, this evokes some doubts concerning the Bushehr project on the part of the US Administration, Vershbow added.

    We still have some doubts concerning the expediency of Russia's building the Bushehr NPP, Vershbow noted, while commenting on the forthcoming Iranian visit by Russian Nuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev.

    Rumyantsev postponed his Bushehr visit until late March because of the March 20 parliamentary elections in Iran.

    Vershbow called on Russia to adopt a tougher stand on Iran.

    A domestic struggle between reformists and hard-liners is obviously unfolding in Iran, Vershbow said, adding that hard-liners alone supported the Iranian nuclear program.

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