Russia deal shows Iran does not need enrichment: White House

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Iran's preparation to launch its first nuclear power reactor, built with Russian assistance, shows that Tehran does not need to pursue its controversial plans for uranium enrichment, the White House said Friday.

"Russia is providing the fuel, and taking the fuel back out," spokesman Robert Gibbs said, referring to the highly sensitive Busher plant in southern Iran which Russian atomic agency Rosatom said would be formally launched on August 21.

He said it shows that "Iran doesn't need its own enrichment capabilities," which Tehran has stressed it needs as it pursues a nuclear program.

The Islamic republic has insisted its nuclear ambitions are purely for civilian energy purposes, but the United States and other Western nations say Tehran wants to build an atomic bomb.

© 2010 AFP

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