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    Russia pledges to complete Iran's first nuclear plant on time

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    Russia is fully committed to completing the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant on schedule, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Thursday.

    Russia is fully committed to completing the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant on schedule, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Thursday.

    The plant in southern Iran is due to be launched in March 2010.

    "Our cooperation with Iran on the construction of the nuclear power plant at Bushehr is being carried out in strict compliance with our international obligations. We are fully committed to completing this project," Nesterenko said.

    He said that adjustments and start-up work are underway at the facility, and that Russian and Iranian specialists are currently working to resolve certain final technical issues.

    The Russian diplomat stressed launch of the 1-GW plant should not be linked to the ongoing negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

    The construction of the facility was started in 1975 by German companies. However, the firms stopped work after a U.S. embargo was imposed on high-technology supplies to Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. embassy siege in Tehran.

    Russia signed a contract with Iran in February 1998 to complete the plant.

    The launch date has been postponed many times over financial problems and Iranian claims that Russia was reluctant to finish the facility due to UN sanctions and suspicions of a covert nuclear weapons program.

    Iran has been under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, used in both electricity generation and weapons production. Tehran has repeatedly rejected the demand, insisting it is pursuing a purely civilian program.

    MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti)

     

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