Russia helps build nuclear reactor in Iran

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Russia’s acting security council secretary, Valentin Sobolev, in an effort to defuse worries that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program. Iranian officials say they plan to hand their plans for addressing the issue to Russian officials, who, in turn, will take the proposals to the UN and the world community as a whole. Russia is building a nuclear reactor in Iran, but the construction has been delayed by disputes over payment.

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Story Transcript

VOICEOVER: Iran’s President Ahmedinejad and acting Russian security council secretary Valentin Sobolev met to discuss how to defuse worries that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons programme. The leaders were responding to economic sanctions, which were imposed by the United Nations Security Council earlier this year. Even though Iran has denied it is pursuing nuclear weapons. On Monday, the head of Iran’s Nuclear Energy Organization met with Sobolev in Russia.

GHOLAM REZA AGHAZADEH, HEAD OF IRAN’S NUCLEAR ENERGY ORGANIZATION (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Iran’s package of proposals says that the Islamic Republic of Iran can cooperate with other countries with full capacity to resolve the world’s issues. Iran can help as a partner to resolve the world’s issues and must not be confronted. Our proposals will be handed to Russia first and then to other countries. We have also prepared a framework to hand our proposals to the ‘five plus one’ countries which will be followed.

VOICEOVER: Russia is building a light-water nuclear reactor for the Iranian government in the southwest of Iran.

VALENTIN SOBOLEV, DEPUTY SECRETARY, RUSSIA’S SECURITY COUNCIL (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Today Mr. Aghazadeh talked about future plans that Iran has in the sphere of nuclear energy. They are far-reaching and I think that our cooperation, which we already have, will allow Russia and Iran to continue to build atomic energy plants.

VOICEOVER: Though plans are expected to get back on track, completion of the Iranian reactor has been stalled by Russian concerns over how the nuclear fuel will be paid for and when it will be delivered. A Russian shipment of nuclear equipment destined for the reactor has also been held up in Azerbaijan for the last three weeks. Azerbaijan have fear the shipment of equipment may violate UN sanctions already in place against Iran. Azerbaijan is a strong ally of the United States.

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