Iran ready to take helm at Bushehr

Aug. 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Minister said Tuesday the Iranian government will take full control of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in the coming weeks.

Russia supplies fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which went into service last year. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said Iran would take on operational responsibilities from the Russians.

"[Full control of] the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be delivered to the Islamic Republic of Iran," he was quoted as saying Tuesday by the semiofficial Fars News Agency.

Iran said it was interested in working with its Russian counterparts on more nuclear facilities.

Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to produce a nuclear weapon, an allegation the government denies.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a former nuclear negotiator, defended the national right to a peaceful nuclear program. Officials in Tehran said they'd be willing to discuss the nuclear issue with the European Union if sanctions pressure eases.

Two rounds of multilateral talks in Kazakhstan this year produced few results. Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports Kazakh officials were open to hosting a third round of talks. No possible date was given.

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