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. Russia urges Iran for nuclear transparency
TEHRAN (AFP) Dec 17, 2005
Russia is calling on Iran to act with full transparency and regain the confidence of the international community over its nuclear program, Moscow's ambassador to Tehran was quoted as saying Saturday.

"We call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to focus on clarifying the remaining issues in its nuclear program and regaining the confidence of the international community in regard to the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities," Alexander Sadovnikov said in a letter to the Tehran Times.

He went on to urge Iran to have a "constant cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), based on complete transparency."

"Obviously this will take time and requires serious efforts," he said.

The letter was written in response to a December 13 report in the paper that quoted the ambassador as saying Moscow would support Iran's nuclear fuel cycle program.

Sadovnikov said Russia supported the Iran-EU nuclear talks "aimed at formulating a series of objective guarantees on the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program" and pledged that nuclear fuel would be delivered to Iran to meet its legitimate needs.

An EU-Iran meeting is planned for next Wednesday in Vienna, but European and Western diplomats say there is little hope of progress in getting Tehran to abandon nuclear fuel work.

Russia enjoys close ties with Iran and is currently helping build the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran.

Moscow has made a proposal that would allow Iran to conduct uranium enrichment outside the country in Russia, giving Iran access to the nuclear fuel cycle but providing a guarantee its nuclear programme is peaceful.

Iran has rejected the offer and insists on its right to make enriched uranium, which can used as nuclear reactor fuel or as the material for an atomic bomb, on its territory. Tehran vehemently denies accusations it is seeking a nuclear weapon.

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