The head of Russia's state nuclear power corporation Rosatom Sergei Kiriyenko announced earlier on Wednesday that Russia had completed the construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushehr and was launching start-up operations.
"Iranians are showing again that they are making progress in their nuclear race," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. "This should be understood as very bad news for the whole of the international community."
Palmor called for "immediate and very determined steps" to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
The plant in south Iran, which Russia undertook to finish as part of a 1998 contract, was originally scheduled to go on line at the end of 2006, but the date has been pushed back several times.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said it will go on stream in the first half of 2009. A Russian deputy foreign minister said last Friday the plant would be commissioned according to the schedule agreed on with Tehran.
In December 2007 - January 2008, Russia supplied nuclear fuel for the plant under control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog. Iran has agreed to return spent nuclear fuel to Russia.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Removing Protesters’ Barricades in Kiev
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.