Prague, 7 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Iran's top official responsible for nuclear power says a nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr will be in operation within three years. Comments by Reza Amrollahi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, were carried by today's "Tehran Times" newspaper.
The nuclear power plant will be Iran's first. Russia has signed an $800 million deal with Iran to complete the plant, despite U.S. concerns Teheran might use the technology to develop nuclear arms. A German company started building the plant in the 1970s, but work was suspended after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Russia's Ambassador to Teheran, Sergei Tertyakov, today denied a report of secret talks between Iran and Russia on missile technology. A Tel Aviv newspaper last week said Teheran and Moscow had held secret talks about transferring to Iran Russian-made (SS-4) missile technology. The missiles have a reputed range of 2,000 kilometers, capable of reaching Israel. The Israeli newspaper also said Iran was also trying to obtain North Korean (Nodong-1) missiles.
Reports say Iran is also about to take delivery of another Russian-made submarine. Under pressure from the United States, Russia has said it will stop selling arms to Iran, but Moscow says it must honor its current contracts.