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Armenian Governor Says Iran Offered Nuclear Fuel

Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant
Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant
YEREVAN -- An Armenian governor says Iran has offered to supply an Armenian power plant with nuclear fuel, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Ashot Ghahramanian, governor of the southern Armenian Armavir region, traveled to Iran's Western Azerbaijan Province and met with its governor, Rahim Qorbani, late last week to discuss ways to boost ties.

Qorbani allegedly offered to supply nuclear fuel to Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power station. "I replied that this issue is not within my area of responsibility and cannot be a subject of our discussion," Ghahramanian said.

For its part, the Armenian Energy Ministry has no record of receiving such an offer. Energy Ministy spokeswoman Shakeh Arakelian told RFE/RL that "no such discussions are taking place at the moment."

Russia has supplied the Armenian power plant in question with enriched uranium since the 1970s. But that could change, as a Russian-Armenian joint venture set up a year ago intends to develop Armenia's own uranium reserves.

Russian Atomic Energy Director Sergei Kirienko said that Armenia could become one of the few countries in the world with a full uranium production cycle.