Russia brushed aside strong US criticism on Wednesday and said it had agreed with Tehran to speed up building of a US$800 million nuclear reactor in Iran and to consider constructing another.
The US, which has branded Iran part of an "axis of evil" for allegedly developing weapons of mass destruction, fiercely opposes the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Washington had failed to show that Iran had broken any international regulations over the nuclear program.
"We always tell our American colleagues that all Iran- Russia cooperation is in accordance with international regulations and the resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Rumyantsev told a news conference.
Moscow's continued participation in the project to build a nuclear reactor near the southwestern port of Bushehr had depended on Iranian assurances that all spent fuel would be returned to Russia -- a demand advanced by US experts.
Iran insists the Bushehr reactor is for purely civilian power production, but US officials question why Iran, the second biggest oil producer in OPEC and with the second biggest gas reserves in the world, would need it.
Russia says it would be difficult for the civilian reactor to be adapted to produce nuclear weapons, a stance disputed by Washington.
US officials earlier this month also charged that two other nuclear sites being built in central Iran were of a type that could be used for manufacturing nuclear warheads.
The Bushehr reactor, due to come on stream at the end of 2003, is under the supervision of the IAEA, while the other two plants are not due to be inspected by the agency until late February.
"We agreed to speed up the completion process of the Bushehr power plant," Gholamreza Aqazadeh, head of the Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s