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. Jordan, Russia sign nuclear deal

Russia has been involved in building a power station in the Iranian Gulf port of Bushehr for the past 14 years. Tehran began testing the 1,000-megawatt plant on Wednesday, saying it could go on line within months.
by Staff Writers
Amman (AFP) Feb 26, 2009
Russia, which is helping Iran build its first nuclear plant, inked a preliminary cooperation deal with Jordan on Thursday to pave the way for producing nuclear power in the energy-poor kingdom.

Under the agreement, Russia will help Jordan, which imports around 95 percent of its energy needs, build power and desalination plants as well as research centres, Jordan Atomic Energy Commission head Khaled Tukan said.

"A final agreement will be signed in Moscow by the end March," Tukan told state news agency Petra after signing the deal with Nikolai Spassky, deputy director of the Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy.

"It's key to boost Jordan's peaceful nuclear programme."

Jordan's 1.2 billion tonnes of phosphate reserves are estimated to contain 130,000 tonnes of uranium, whose enriched form provides fuel for nuclear plants. The government wants the first such plant to be ready by 2015.

The kingdom is the latest Arab country, including Egypt and pro-Western Gulf states, to announce plans for nuclear power programmes in the face of Shiite Iran's controversial atomic drive.

The United States, Israel and other countries suspect Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons but Tehran insists its atomic programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

Russia has been involved in building a power station in the Iranian Gulf port of Bushehr for the past 14 years. Tehran began testing the 1,000-megawatt plant on Wednesday, saying it could go on line within months.

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Iran says nuclear plant could start in months
Bushehr, Iran (AFP) Feb 25, 2009
Iran began testing its first nuclear power plant on Wednesday in the face of deep international concern over its atomic drive and said the long-delayed project could go on line within months.

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