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Russia: Iran Under IAEA's Mandate

Russia says no to UN Security Council involvement 29 September 2004 -- Moscow opposes referring Iran's nuclear program to the UN Security Council, saying the issue should be handled by the UN's nuclear agency.

Igor Ivanov, the head of Russia's Security Council, made his remarks today in Moscow. He said the issue falls under the mandate of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Ivanov also reiterated that Russia will continue helping Iran with its nuclear program.

"We have emphasized many times that Russia continues to develop nuclear cooperation with Iran, particularly through the Bushehr nuclear power plant construction project," Ivanov said. "That project will be completed under the condition that all spent nuclear fuel is returned to Russia."

The IAEA has called on Tehran to halt its uranium-enrichment program, a process that produces fuel for nuclear reactors but can also make explosive material for nuclear weapons.

The United States says Iran is covertly developing nuclear arms, which Tehran denies.

Russia, which is helping Iran build its first nuclear power plant at Bushehr, says it will continue its nuclear cooperation with Iran as long as it complies with the IAEA.