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Iran: Tehran Invites U.S. To Help Build Nuclear Plants

Tehran, 2 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iran has invited the U.S. to help build its nuclear-power plants, as a way to ease Washington's fears over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. The invitation came today during a press briefing by Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi. It echoed a similar suggestion floated last week by Russian Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev, which Washington rejected.

The U.S. has accused Tehran of developing nuclear weapons and has criticized Russia for helping Iran build its Bushehr nuclear reactor.

Asefi also said Iran will not allow tougher inspections of its nuclear facilities until the U.S. and other countries lift sanctions against his country first.

Iran has always said its nuclear program is meant for civilian purposes only.