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. Russia says will complete Iran nuclear plant
TEHRAN, Sept 2 (AFP) Sep 02, 2008
The Russian company building Iran's first nuclear power plant has renewed a commitment to complete the project, the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Russia, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, is building the plant at Bushehr on the Gulf coast of Iran despite a long-running standoff over Tehran's controversial nuclear drive.

A visiting delegation from Russia's state-run Atomstroiexport pledged to "abide by the working agenda by providing the necessary experts... and sending the necessary equipment for the power plant in time," according to a joint statement with Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation carried by IRNA.

The Russian contractor said in December that Bushehr would not come on line before the end of 2008, amid repeated delays in construction, contractual disputes and international tensions over Iran's nuclear programme.

It took over construction of the plant from the German company Siemens in 1994.

Western governments believe oil-rich Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists its programme is peaceful and aimed at generating energy for a growing population.

The UN Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran over its failure to heed resolutions requiring the suspension of uranium enrichment, a process which makes fuel for a nuclear power plant but also the core of an atomic bomb.

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