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RIA Novosti

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Russia to continue construction at Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant

19:28 13/01/2006

MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - There are no grounds for the suspension of construction work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, a spokesman for a Russian contractor in Iran said Friday.

Experts from Atomstroiexport, the general contractor for the Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Power on the construction and modernization of nuclear power plants abroad, continue to fulfill the Bushehr contract, the company said.

Russia is currently helping to build the $800-million Bushehr plant in the south of Iran, but the current dispute about the country's nuclear programs and rising tensions have led to fears for nationals' safety.

About 3,700 Russian experts are working at the construction site in Bushehr at present.

According to some media reports on Friday, a decision had been made to work out a scheme for the emergency evacuation of Russian specialists from Iran in the event of military action being taken amid any escalation of the dispute over the country's nuclear programs.

Atomstroiexport has been participating in the construction of the first power unit at the Bushehr plant in line with a contract signed in January 1995, following a 1992 agreement between Russia and Iran on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Iran.

Some countries, notably the United States and Israel, have expressed suspicions that the Islamic Republic is working on a secret weapons program rather than developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as Tehran has consistently maintained.

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