Russian Atomic Ministry: by cooperating with Iran, Russia is not breaking any international agreements

The Russian Atomic Energy Ministry has dismissed as groundless U.S. criticism of Moscow for its nuclear co-operation with Tehran. Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Bulat Nigmatullin said on Wednesday that "the U.S. accusations are groundless and aimed at undermining Russia's competitiveness on the international energy market." He said Iran, to which no international sanctions apply, has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its nuclear programs are controlled by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In other words, by cooperating with Iran, Russia is not breaking any international agreements. Nigmatullin is sure that despite Washington's open pressure, Russia will complete the construction of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran in 2003, Interfax reports. "The body, turbine and main equipment of the station will be delivered to Iran already this year," he said. "This is a very advantageous contract for Russia," Nigmatullin said. "By building the station we will establish long-term ties in nuclear power engineering with our neighbor, Iran. It is our market and if we pull out, others will move in," he said adding that the United States could be one of the countries to take the opportunity

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