Topic: Iran's nuclear program
Originally posted at 18:02
- Iran to Take Control of Bushehr Nuclear Plant on Sept. 24
- Iran Ready to Guarantee Its Nuclear Program Peaceful – Rouhani
- Iran Reiterates It Will Continue Peaceful Nuclear Program
- Iran to Sign New Nuclear Power Plant Deal with Russia – Minister
- New Sanctions Will ‘Suffocate’ Iran – Russian Diplomat
MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia on Monday handed over operational control of the Russian-made Bushehr nuclear power plant to Iran in the country’s south, said a spokesman for Russia’s state nuclear corporation, Rosatom.
“Today, in Bushehr, Iran’s first nuclear power plant has been transferred to the customer,” the spokesman said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement for the event that Tehran was open to nuclear energy collaboration and ready to establish a base for such collaboration with all countries interested in doing that, the IRNA news agency reported.
Rouhani expressed hope that all countries would make efforts to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
“As in the past, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be a pioneer in achieving this magnificent goal,” he said.
Iran’s nuclear chief said earlier this month that Russian specialists would remain at the facility throughout its two-year “warranty period.”
Construction of the power plant began in the 1970s but was plagued by delays. Russia signed a billion-dollar deal with Tehran to complete the plant in 1998.
The plant's launch has prompted Israel and other nations to express fears that Iran could use the reactor to create an atomic bomb. Tehran has denied the allegations, saying the facility is for power generation only.
Russia’s nuclear collaboration with Tehran has strictly complied with “the UN Security Council’s sanctions related limitations on Iran’s nuclear program,” Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said earlier this month.
The Bushehr plant was connected to Iran's power grid in September 2011 and began operating at full capacity on August 31, 2012, as the Unit 1 reactor was brought to 100 percent capacity.
In July, Iran’s president said preliminary talks for Russia to help build a new Iranian nuclear power plant had been completed. In February, Iran’s foreign minister said Tehran expected to start joint work with Russia on a second power unit at Bushehr.
(Adds President Rouhani remarks)
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