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Russian, Iranian Officials Discuss Bushehr Nuclear Plant


Russian and Iranian nuclear officials are meeting in Moscow to discuss Russia's construction of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant.

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and Russia's Federal Nuclear Agency chief are expected to discuss the timetable for the completion of Iran's first nuclear power plant as well as a schedule for delivery of Russian nuclear fuel.

Iranian officials have expressed frustration that both fuel deliveries and the construction are behind schedule.

Russian officials have said the facility would officially start operations in September 2007, but it could begin generating electricity before then.

The United States has long objected to the Bushehr plant, saying it could be used to produce material for nuclear weapons.

Russia has agreed to take back the plant's spent fuel so it cannot be used for weapons. But Iran has resisted a Russian proposal to conduct all of Iran's uranium enrichment on Russian soil.

Iran claims its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes - mostly for providing fuel for nuclear power. The United States alleges the program is aimed at creating weapons-grade nuclear material.

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