Putin: Bushehr problems not political
17 October 2007
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that delays to Iran's Bushehr nuclear power project were technical rather than political. At a summit of nations bordering the Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan) he confirmed that Russia would supply and take back the power plant's nuclear fuel, but evaded questions about when exactly the reactor would be complete. Bushehr is currently pencilled in for operation in the first half of 2008, but this is about 18 months later than originally scheduled. Reports from the summit said the countries' leaders signed a declaration, part of which reaffirmed the right of all countries to use nuclear power in accordance with the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty. Putin also held talks with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kamenei during which the Tehran Times reported he made a "special proposal" on nuclear issues, which Kamenei said was "ponderable."
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