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US official defends nuclear deal with Russia

World

A senior US State Department official defended a US-Russia deal on civilian nuclear cooperation, saying it will not undermine efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program.

In testimony before the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security John Rood described the proposal as “a good, solid agreement” that “contains all the necessary nonproliferation conditions and controls that Congress has written into law.”

The United States and Russia signed an agreement in Moscow in May on cooperation in the nuclear energy industry. Under the agreement, American and Russian companies will be allowed to form joint ventures in the nuclear sector and will facilitate the transfer of nuclear material between the two countries.

“Once nuclear rivals, today nuclear partners, the United States and Russia now have a framework to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purpose and to advance nuclear energy worldwide,” Washington said in a statement.

But critics of the agreement questioned Russia's commitment to stopping Iran's program, and said that Russia should not be rewarded. (Xinhua)

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