TEHRAN, Jan. 14 (MNA) -- Russia will pay reparations to Iran if it is proved to be responsible for delaying the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Russian ambassador to Tehran Alexander Maryasov said here on Friday.

Maryasov, in an interview with the Iranian satellite television network Jam-e-Jam, rejected the claims that Russia intends to prevent the completion of the Bushehr power plant under U.S. pressure, saying the delays caused in the construction process were due to technical rather than political issues.


The ambassador stated that Russia has presented technical and economic documents as well as an explanatory report on the construction of unit 2 of the Bushehr power plant to Iran.


He added that Russia will start construction activities as soon as the two countries reach an agreement.


Maryasov stated that the Bushehr power plant would be completed and ready to be made operational in January 2006, according to the schedule designed by the Iran Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) and the Russian Atomic Energy Agency.


He went on to say that the construction process had been delayed due to inconsistencies between the Western and Russian projects.


Germany broke a contract it had signed with Iran before the Islamic Revolution to build the Bushehr nuclear power plant, despite having received 8 billion marks and having completed 90 percent of the plant.


Asked why Russia had agreed to complete the Western project in the first place, the ambassador noted that Iran had requested it, but added that maybe Russia was wrong to begin completing the Western project instead of constructing a Russian plant.


He stressed that the agreement signed between the two countries on returning spent nuclear fuel from Iran to Russia was not politically motivated.


When Russia and Iran signed a nuclear fuel agreement in 1992, no decisions were made in regard to returning the spent nuclear fuel, but after a law was passed in Russia that stipulated that the spent fuel from foreign nuclear plants supplied by Moscow had to be returned to Russia, an agreement was made with Iran for this purpose, he explained.


Maryasov said that Iran and Russia are still negotiating the price for the return and reprocessing of the spent fuel.


“The agreement will be signed as soon as Iran agrees with our proposed price,” he stated.


The ambassador said that Russia must dispatch 90 tons of fuel (in two separate stages of 30 and 60 tons) to Iran in order to complete the construction of the Bushehr power plant by the end of the year 2005.


He added that Russia prepared the fuel a long time ago and is only waiting for the finalization of financial agreements and then it will send it. However, he refused to reveal the asking price for the power plant’s nuclear fuel.


He noted that Iran had not officially asked Russia to construct any other nuclear power plants in the country, but added that the matter would be discussed if such a proposal were made.


On Iran’s complaints about delays in the construction of the Bushehr power plant and its influence on bilateral ties, Maryasov said, “Constructing a nuclear power plant is not an easy job, particularly in view of the sensitivities surrounding the Iranian nuclear issue.”






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