Kuwait concerned over Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait has expressed safety concerns over Iran’s new nuclear reactor on the opposite side of the Gulf, fearing fallout from possible leaks, the official news agency KUNA reported.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 25 Aug 2010, 7:39 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:51 AM

“Kuwait’s concern is based on fears of any leaks due to natural causes that may have future consequences,” foreign ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah said, quoted by KUNA late on Monday.

Kuwait is the nearest country to the Russian-built nuclear plant in the Iranian city of Bushehr, located like Kuwait in the northern Gulf.

Iran loaded the Bushehr facility with nuclear fuel last Saturday and the United States said there was no “proliferation risk” from the civilian plant because of Russian involvement.

A number of Kuwaiti MPs, however, have called on the government to take precautionary measures against any incident from Iran’s first nuclear plant.

But Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters at his weekly press conference on Tuesday that the Bushehr plant adheres to “high standards” and had the seal of approval of the UN nuclear watchdog.

“Due to the high standards with regards to safeguards in the Bushehr nuclear power plant, there should be no concern about it,” he said. “The International Atomic Energy Agency has approved the safeguards in the Bushehr plant.”

Later on Tuesday, a Kuwaiti envoy met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran and expressed his country’s desire to increase cooperation with Iran.

“It is necessary that the two countries increase cooperation and ties in different fields,” Mohammad Abdullah Abolhassan was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency after delivering a written message from the Kuwaiti emir to Ahmadinejad.

“Today, Kuwait is seeking to strengthen and deepen its ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran in every aspect.”

Ahmadinejad too expressed “trust” in Iran’s relations with Kuwait.

He said the two countries are proceeding “jointly on issues... Iran and Kuwait have cultural similarities. They can raise the level of cooperation and ties between the two countries,” Ahmadinejad said.

According to Kuwaiti media, a senior Iranian official is expected in the emirate within days, possibly to discuss the nuclear plant issue.

Meanwhile, during a brief visit to Kuwait on Monday, following talks in Tehran, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said in a statement carried by KUNA that the Bushehr plant was Iran’s business.

“If the plant is peaceful and for power use according to our information, then this is a legitimate right for Iran under international law and we do not want to change this framework at the present time,” he said.

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