04/15/2010, 00.00
RUSSIA – IRAN – CHINA

Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor to start up in August

The Russian-built plant is right on schedule. For the United States, plans to start up the facility are “premature”. More sanctions against Tehran are on the table.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant should be up and running by next August, Serghei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's Rosatom Corp, said. The work is right on schedule, he added.

“Bushehr doesn't threaten the regime of non-proliferation in any way. No one has any concerns about Bushehr,” he explained. Sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme “have nothing to do with Bushehr.”

Construction of the reactor at Bushehr began 15 years ago; it will be Iran's first nuclear power plant.

Taken by surprise at the news, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticised Russia's plans to start up the nuclear power station, saying it was “premature”.

Sanctions against Iran are currently under discussion. Many believe the Islamic Republic will use its nuclear facilities to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Russia and China have doubts over the effectiveness of new sanctions against Iran’s oil industry.

Ambassadors from the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have resumed negotiations at the UN on possible sanctions.

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