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. Russia seeks active participation in Iran's peaceful nuclear programme
MOSCOW (AFP) Nov 18, 2004
Russia wishes to participate actively in Iran's peaceful nuclear programme in due conformity with international commitments, the secretary of the national security council was quoted as saying Thursday.

"Russia intends to participate actively in the development of civil nuclear energy in Iran in line with international obligations," Russsian news agencies quoted Igor Ivanov as telling his Iranian equivalent Hassan Rohani by telephone.

Iran has informed Russia of the terms of an agreement reached with France, Germany and Britain -- on behalf of the European Union -- on the controversy of Iranian nuclear power.

Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment in order to defuse international concern about its nuclear programme -- seen by the United States as a cover for an atomic weapons drive.

The deal brokered by the EU three offered Iran trade, security and technological incentives in return for its cooperation.

Tehran asserts that it only wants to generate atomic energy in order to meet booming domestic power demand and free up its vast oil and gas resources for export.

RIA Novosti news agency reported that Russia had expressed satisfaction at the accord with the western powers, saying it would help to normalise the Iran's situation.

Moscow is in the process of completing Iran's first nuclear power plant, although it has refused to provide fuel for the project until it guarantees its safe return to Russia for reprocessing.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said in September his Islamic state was pushing forward with nuclear cooperation with Russia despite protests from the West.

He said the reactor in the southern Iranian town of Bushehr would go ahead despite resistance from the United States and Israel.

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