Russia Set to Build More Reactors for Iran
Created: 28.06.2005 14:54 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 14:54 MSK
Russia wants to construct up to six new nuclear reactors for Iran, despite U.S. criticism of its assistance to the Islamic republic, Moscow?s top nuclear boss was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Russia has pressed ahead with construction of Iran?s first nuclear power plant near the southern city of Bushehr, dismissing Washington?s belief that Tehran could use Moscow?s technology and know-how to make an atom bomb, the Reuters news agency reported.
?When Iran announces new tenders to construct nuclear reactors, we?ll take part in them,? Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia?s Atomic Energy Agency, told the Itar-Tass news agency. ?Tehran intends to build another six nuclear reactors.?
Rumyantsev?s remarks came just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would continue developing nuclear ties with Iran after ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?s election as president of the Islamic Republic last week.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.
For Russia, Iran is a key market in the Middle East as it seeks a bigger share of the global nuclear industry, but Moscow is worried it may lose its near-monopoly status there as its Western rivals try to push into the Iranian market. Moscow and Tehran, whose nuclear ties date back to the early 1990s, signed a fuel supply deal earlier this year that paved the way for Bushehr to start up in late 2006.
Once operational, Bushehr will generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity. Initiated before Iran?s 1979 Islamic revolution and badly damaged during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the project was later revived with Russian help and has cost about $1 billion.