Source AP ©

Iran, Russia complete shedule for Bushehr plant

Russian news agencies reported Tuesday that Russia and Iran have reached an agreement on a schedule of finishing an Iran ’s nuclear plant – the one that is considered by the U.S. as the place where the nation was developing nuclear arms.

Sergei Shmatko, the head of the plant contractor Atomstroiexport, said that the details of the timetable would be released later that month,the AP said.

The construction of the US$1 billion (EUR680,000) plant was long protested by the U.S.

Russia opposed the U.S. attempts to set sanctions against Iran’s nuclear developing despite the fact that the plant has been sporadically delayed amid disputes between Iran and Russia over payment, fuel delivery and other issues.

"The difficulties with the Iranian contracts have been settled," Shmatko was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. He did not give details of the completion plans, but said that fuel would be delivered to Iran about half a year before it is needed to operate the plant, according to Interfax.

Shmatko's announcement came about an hour before Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was to meet in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

Although Russia has resisted drives to impose sanctions on Iran, it also repeatedly has urged Tehran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve concerns over the nuclear program.

Shmatko on Thursday raised the prospect of creating a Russian-Iranian joint venture "to ensure security" at the Bushehr plant, according to the RIA-Novosti agency.

That could indicate Russian interest in ensuring that enriched uranium at the plant is not stolen or diverted. Depleted fuel rods also could be reprocessed into plutonium.

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