Iran’s first nuclear power plant will start up in August regardless of possible sanctions against the country, the head of Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom told the Interfax news agency on Thursday.
“We are expecting the nuclear power plant in Bushehr to start operations in August, if everything goes according to plan,” Sergey Kiriyenko was quoted as saying.
Russia has indicated that it will support the new sanctions against Iran which are currently being examined by the United Nations Security Council.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized during a visit to Italy on Thursday that more work had to be done on finding a solution to the conflict over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Russia also called on the Iranian leadership to present the International Atomic Energy Agency with concrete proposals for the enrichment of its uranium abroad soon.
The discussions in the Security Council will proceed separately, with the goal being for all council members to reach consensus on a new Iran resolution, Mr. Lavrov said in Rome.
He noted that Russia and the Western world want to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.
Independently, the Iranian nuclear plant that Russia is helping to build is due to be ready this summer, following numerous delays.
A subsidiary of the German company Siemens had started building the facility in the 1970s. Russia took over the project in the 1990s after the Iranian revolution. The power plant was originally supposed to start working in 2007.
Russia and the Western world recognize that Iran has the right to a civilian use of nuclear energy, but have demanded that it come with guarantees.