The construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran will not be affected by a Russian presidential decree banning the delivery of military hardware to Iran, the Kremlin said Thursday.
The decree, which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed on Wednesday, is part of measures Russia is taking to comply with new UN sanctions imposed on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
Medvedev also banned entry to and transit via Russia for a number of Iranian nationals connected with the country's nuclear program, and banned Russian individuals and legal entities from rendering financial services if the services relate to Iran's nuclear activity.
"We have never considered any restrictions [on the Bushehr construction], because the Bushehr project is being implemented under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and nobody has ever questioned this project," presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko told reporters in Moscow.
Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete construction of the nuclear plant in February 1998.
The Bushehr plant was loaded with the first fuel in August but the reactor will be started up later this year.
Under a bilateral agreement, which has received IAEA approval, Russia will initially operate the plant, supplying its fuel and taking away all the spent fuel for the next 2-3 years, but will eventually hand over full control to Iran.
MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti)