Iran's state-owned Press TV says Tehran has submitted a proposal to Russia to jointly produce nuclear fuel for Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant and any future plants.
The English-language Press TV quoted the head of Iran's nuclear program, Ali Akbar Salehi, as saying Tehran has "made a proposal to Russia to create a consortium under license of that country (Russia) to do part of the work in Russia and part in Iran."
Salehi said Thursday that Moscow is "studying the proposal."
With Russian help, Iran began loading uranium fuel on Saturday into its first nuclear power plant - built by Russia - in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr. Iran plans to build more nuclear plants.
Russia is responsible of providing the Bushehr reactor with nuclear fuel for a period of 10 years as well as of collecting the fuel rods in order to make sure they will not be used for military purposes.
The main question regarding international inspection of the Bushehr plant is whether Russia will indeed prevent Iran from using nuclear waste for military purposes. Iran's current proposal may be perceived as an attempt to gain access to the nuclear remainder and use it in its military program.
It is also possible that Iran is interested in acquiring the technology for the production of fuel rods which only three countries currently hold – the US, Russia and France.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared the Islamic Republic's aspiration to produce nuclear fuel a day after the Bushehr reactor was inaugurated.
He stated that Iran was seeking to produce nuclear fuel because receiving it from an outside source was subject to political criteria. "We must make sure that our nuclear power plant will continue working. We do not trust the West despite having good relations with Russia," he told Al Jazeera TV.
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