Press Release #21
September 16, 1997


Moscow, September 16 (ITAR-TASS) - Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov strongly denied Western media reports alleging that Russia assists Iran in developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

"I would like to say with all resposibility that Russia is not carrying out on a state line any such project with Iran," Primakov said at a press conference today.

"According to our information, nor is there a leak such sort on a non-state line which could help Iran to create nuclear weapons or long-range missiles," he said addressing a press conference closing Russia-Oman talks.

However, Russia is building up economic contacts with Iran in civilian uses of atom and will continue to do so, Primakov said. He cited Russia's assistance to Iran in constructing its Bushehr nuclear power plant.

"No one will push us off this position because this has nothing to do with the existing suspicions, and is rather important to us in economic terms," Primakov said.