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Russia to Resume Iranian Nuclear Plant Construction


Russia and Iran have agreed on a schedule to finish building Iran's first 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.

Meanwhile, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have ended three days of talks that focused on uranium particle contamination found by IAEA inspectors at a Tehran university.

Iranian state media (IRNA) quote Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as saying Iranian officials provided necessary responses during the talks on the source of the contamination.

Soltanieh also said the talks marked another step in efforts to resolve outstanding questions about Iran's nuclear program.

Western nations favor tougher sanctions against Iran for failing to stop enriching uranium despite previous U.N. sanctions. Enriching uranium is a process that can produce fuel for nuclear weapons.

A recent U.S. intelligence report concluded that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Iran has never acknowledged the existence of such a military weapons program.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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