A prominent Iranian MP described Bushehr nuclear power plant as a symbol of Iran-Russia cooperation, warning that any delay in the construction and launch of operation of the plant serves the interests of those opposing expansion of Tehran-Moscow ties. Rapporteur of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Kazem Jalali told reporters here in Tehran on Monday that under a Tehran-Moscow deal signed in September 2006, Russia undertook to finish construction of Bushehr power plant by September 2007 and launch its operation in January.
“Under the same terms, the Russian side was to deliver nuclear fuel to Iran 6 months ahead of Bushehr’s operation,” he continued.
Jalali further pointed to the financial problems of the Russian side, and said, “The Islamic Republic showed full flexibility in this regard and accepted to accelerate payments as the other side demanded an acceleration, and not an increase, in the payments.”
“Now Russians are stating that there will be a short delay due to a problem related to the air-conditioning system. But from the view point of Iran, these delays are not acceptable because according to the two sides’ initial contract signed in 1995, Russia undertook to complete the power plant in 2000 and launch the operation in 2001,” he said.
Noting the repeated delays in the accomplishment of the project and the launch of operation by Bushehr power plant, the lawmaker said, “We have announced that this power plant is considered as a symbol of Iran-Russia cooperation and any delay in the construction and launch of operation by the power plant casts uncertainties over the two countries’ cooperation not only among the public opinion, but also among the elites.”
“Of course, part of the public opinion and elites of our society view Russia as a strategic partner of Iran,” he reminded.
To end his remarks, Jalali also pointed out that any delay in the construction of Bushehr power plant would serve the interests of those opposing expansion of Tehran-Moscow ties.