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Iran: U.S. Cautions Russia On Nuclear Cooperation With Tehran

Washington, 27 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United States has urged Russia and other nations to be "careful" about helping Iran with its nuclear program. The caution came after the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) condemned Iran for 18 years of covert nuclear activities and warned that it could face punitive action if any further breaches of nonproliferation obligations are discovered.

Asked about Russia's cooperation in the construction of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States urges countries to be "careful" in their nuclear dealings with Iran, particularly as Iran has not yet implemented all its commitments to the U.N.'s nuclear monitoring agency.

"Our view is people ought to be careful, continue to be careful, about their [nuclear] programs [with Iran], particularly at this moment when Iran has not yet implemented all its commitments [for nonproliferation]."

Boucher added that Washington has never called on Russia to stop its cooperation on the Bushehr reactor, but that this should proceed only if Iran is fully meeting all its international nuclear requirements.

Iran's Foreign Ministry earlier welcomed passage of the IAEA resolution, saying it showed that Iran has been honest and transparent about its nuclear activities and has not tried to make a nuclear weapon.