US lawmakers do not trust Iran, call on Russia

US House of Representatives at its session Thursday afternoon called on Russia to suspend nuclear cooperation with Iran.

The overwhelming majority of the House (376 against 3) supported the draft resolution on Iran saying, among other things, that the US Congress "deplores any efforts by any country to provide any assistance to Iran in the nuclear sector".

The US Congress "calls on Russia to suspend its nuclear cooperation with Iran and refrain from making an agreement on supply of nuclear fuel to the reactor in Bushehr" until the Iranian side halts "finally and verifiably all activities designed to ensure creation of own nuclear arsenal, including a complete termination of the uranium enrichment project and construction of the plutonium reprocessing plant," the resolution points out.

An appeal to Russia is part of a package of measures aimed at enhancing the international control over Iranian nuclear programs and ensuring that Iran fully meet its commitments to the IAEA.

Republican Henry Hyde, Chairman of the House's Foreign Affairs Committee, and Democrat Tom Lantos, an influential Committee member, co-authored the draft resolution.

Russian specialists have been constructing a nuclear power plant in Bushehr (a town in the north of Iran's Persian Gulf coastline) since early 1990s. Previously, under the Shah's regime, the project had been awarded to a German company, but after the 1979 Islamic Revolution the Germans, under a strong US pressure, had to abandon all work on the site. Before 1979, the Shah was the main US ally in the Middle East and South East Asia and the United States had no objections against the its satellite's nuclear program. Now the situation has changed: the USA appears to have permanently ranked Tehran among the states of `the axis of evil`, and in this context any cooperation with the `rogue nation` must be forbidden. For its part, Moscow believes that its assistance to Iran in development of the Iranian own nuclear power industry is in full compliance with all relevant international treaties, including the basic treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (Tehran, in contrast to Israel, is a party to that treaty). Moreover, in order to eliminate the international community's concerns, Moscow and Tehran agreed to sign a special protocol on mandatory export of all spent nuclear fuel to Russia.

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