Fereidoun Abbasi Davani, Iran's Vice President and Head of Atomic Energy Organization, smiles during at the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety at the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, on Monday, June 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak) (AP)
Russia: Iran's nuclear plant to start up in August
Moscow and Tehran signed a $1 billion contract to build the 1,000-megawatt Bushehr plant in 1995
A top Russian diplomat reportedly says Iran's first nuclear power plant will finally start up in August.
Moscow and Tehran signed a US$1 billion contract to build the 1,000-megawatt Bushehr plant in 1995, but delays -- the latest caused by the replacement of damaged equipment and an attack of malicious software on the plant's computer system -- left the plant unfinished for years.
Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Monday that the plant is "completed" and will start up in early August.
The United States and some of its allies believe the plant is part of an Iranian attempt to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusation saying its nuclear intentions are peaceful.