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Sergei Kiriyenko, speaking in Moscow today (ITAR-TASS)
March 16, 2007 -- Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom), says construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran does not threaten the nonproliferation regime.
The United States opposes Bushehr, saying Iran could use the know-how to develop nuclear weapons.
Kiriyenko told a news conference today that the project has safeguards to prevent this. He said fuel for the plant will come from Russia and spent fuel from the plant returned to Russia.
He also urged an end to media "clamor" surrounding delays in the plant's construction.
Kiriyenko said Iran should make its payments if it wants the plant completed.
"Of course, we cannot finish the construction of the [Bushehr] nuclear power plant at our own expense," he said. "It is a commercial project and we are ready to complete it in accordance with the signed agreement. Therefore, a group of our negotiators are in Tehran today, and we are ready to receive Iranian representatives [in Moscow] again if necessary."
Tehran denies it has missed payments.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
An annotated timeline
of Iran's nuclear program.