Russian technician at Bushehr
Photo: Reuters
Iran to open Bushehr reactor to public
Tourism Ministry says move is aimed at 'stressing peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program'

Iran has decided to open its infamous Bushehr nuclear reactor to tourists in a public relations effort aimed at quelling disputes about the nature of its nuclear program.


Iranian television reports said Monday that the reactor would open to the public during the Persian New Year holiday.


"Iran is ready to greet tourists interested in visiting its first nuclear reactor in Bushehr during the Persian New Year vacation," said Ali-Raza Dajbend, a clerk at the country's Tourism Ministry.


He said the program was aimed at "stressing the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear activity." The Nurouz, or Persian New Year, occurs on March 21 and marks the first day of spring.


Just two weeks ago Iran held its first experiment in activating the reactor at Bushehr, built with Russian assistance over a decade ago. The US opposed its activation until settlements were reached with Russia over remnants of its nuclear fuel.


Foreign powers remain wary of Iran's uranium enrichment at its underground facility in Natanz. Western nations fear the enrichment could lead to the development of a bomb.


Tehran has continuously denied allegations that its nuclear program is meant for anything other than civilian use, such as production of electricity.


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