US wants to push Russia out of world energy market

During a RIA Novosti press conference on Tuesday, General Director of the Russian Centre for Modern Iranian Studies, Razhdab Safarov, said that the US was trying to discredit Russo-Iranian co-operation by means of statements alleging that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. Safarov said that Russia's interaction with Iran was for "exclusively peaceful purposes." According to him, "under pressure from American and multinational companies specializing in the construction of nuclear power stations, the US leadership has not given up hope of pushing Russia out of this market." He reminded those present that in 1976, the USA concluded a major trade and economic agreement with Iran that, in particular, stipulated that the American specialists would build eight nuclear power stations in Iran. However, these agreements were declared null and void after the change of power in Iran in 1979.

The expert pointed out, though, that Tehran had not given up on plans to produce cheap electricity and concluded a "nuclear contract" with Moscow in 1995. The deal is worth $2.7 billion over 84 months.

The USA, according to Safarov, is using any chance to "throw a shadow over the strategic policy of interaction between Russia and Iran." Evidence of this, in his opinion, comes in the form of recent allegations that two major nuclear facilities in the cities of Natanz and Arak could be used to produce nuclear weapons.

However, Radzhab Safarov stressed that "neither the USA, nor any other country, had any real proof that Iran is designing nuclear weapons; everything is on the level of statements, suggestions and guesses." The Russian expert said that Russia had to reject these provocative statements toughly.

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