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US Demands End To Russia-Iran Nuclear Cooperation

Russia is Iran's biggest nuclear partner and is building the country's first atomic power station at Bushehr.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Apr 20, 2006
The United States demanded Wednesday an end to Russia's cooperation with Iran in building the Islamic republic's first civilian nuclear power station and also suggested halting a sale of Russian missiles.

"We also think it is important for countries to stop cooperation with Iran on nuclear issues, even on civilian nuclear issues like the Bushehr facility," Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns told journalists in Moscow.

Burns made clear that he was talking about various countries' work with Iran's nuclear industry. However, Russia is Iran's biggest nuclear partner and is building the country's first atomic power station at Bushehr.

According to the United States and other Western powers Iran is using its civilian programme to hide a secret military project, something insists is untrue.

"A number of countries are continuing to permit the export of dual-use materials that could be used, and we think in some cases are being used, to help the growth of Iran's nuclear industry," Burns said.

"It is the view of my government that it would be appropriate now for those individual governments to stop that practice and no longer permit it."

Burns also called on Russia to drop its planned sale of Tor-M1 mobile air defence missiles to Iran -- a deal confirmed by Russian chief of staff General Yury Baluyevsky earlier Wednesday.

"It would be logical for that arms sale not to go forward," Burns said, adding that countries should use "their leverage" against Iran. "No country should sell weapons to a regime like that."

Burns warned that Russia's presidency this year of the Group of Eight countries would be dominated by the Iran crisis.

"It is obvious that Iran is going to be the leading issue, obviously for foreign ministers and most likely for heads of government," Burns said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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