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Russia to resume Iranian nuke program

Initiatives

Russia and Iran have drafted a final schedule on the completion of the first Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

Sergei Shnatko, the head of the Russian state contractor Atomstroiexport building the plant says difficulties with Iran have been resolved and the two sides have agreed on a timetable for the project to finish. The construction of the Bushehr plant has been dogged by delays, with Russia saying Iran is behind on payments. But Tehran believes Moscow delayed the work for political reasons.

On Wednesday, Britain's envoy to the UN said he does not think world powers will reach enough agreement to move forward with a new UN sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program this year. Ambassador John Sawers said that there are still, in his words, "wide differences" about the sanctions proposals. He says Britain, France, Germany and the United States are on one side, and Russia and China are on the other.

Western nations are in favor of tougher sanctions against Tehran for failing to stop enriching uranium - process that can produce fuel for nuclear weapons Iran has continued to enrich uranium, despite previous UN sanctions. A recent US intelligence report concluded that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Still, Iran has never acknowledged the existence of such a military weapons program. (Voanews)

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