Russia downplays Iran nuclear links

Publish date: November 29, 2006

At the recent press-conference Kiriyenko refrained from commenting on the dispute with Iran over its nuclear program, which the US and other nations believe is aimed at developing weapons, his comments on Bushehr could indicate that Moscow is edging closer to supporting sanctions.

Kiriyenko insisted that Russia, like other nations, primarily wants to ensure that the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful. He said last year’s deal obliging Tehran to ship all spent nuclear fuel from Bushehr back to Russia had assuaged international concerns that the material could be used to build atomic weapons.

Kiriyenko said the reactor in Bushehr was set to be launched in September 2007 and should start generating electricity two months later.