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Russian-Iranian accord on spent nuclear fuel to be signed by summer

      RBC, 17.03.2004, Moscow 14:52:39.An agreement on returning spent nuclear fuel from Iran to Russia will be signed before this summer, Radzhab Safarov, the head of the Russian Center for Modern Iran Studies, declared at a news conference. According to him, the delay in signing this accord was due to the lack of agreements of the sides about price policies. Former Russian atomic minister Alexander Rumyantsev was to visit Iran on February 15 to sign this agreement. However, the visit was canceled, although Iran had declared that positions of the sides had been agreed fully.

      Safarov noted that "Russia is playing wait and see in respect to Iran", which is due to pressure by the USA and other western countries. He believes Russia should be more active within the framework of nuclear cooperation with Iran, taking into account Iranian plans to build another 6 reactors over the next 20 years.

      Successful accomplishment of construction of the first reactor at the nuclear facility in Bushehr will obviously influence development of Russian-Iranian cooperation, Safarov said. As a result of the delay in putting the first Bushehr reactor into operation, negative attitude towards cooperation of the two countries is growing in Iran, he added.

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