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Iran Charges Argentina Failed to Fulfill Nuclear Reactor Deal

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Iran has lashed out at Argentina for what it said was a failure to fulfill a contract providing nuclear technology to Teheran.

In early February 1992, the Argentine government stopped the shipment of a small nuclear reactor to Teheran under pressure from the United States and Israel.

The $18 million contract for the provision of the reactor had been signed between Argentina’s INVAP, a state-owned atomic materials manufacturing company, and Iran’s Nuclear Energy Organization.

The contract was for the construction in Iran of a reactor with uranium- refining capabilities.

Iran reacted strongly to what it said was a breach of contract.

Reza Amrollah, head of the Iranian nuclear organization, said the reactor was needed “to train engineers and manufacture medical equipment, not to wage war.”

He made clear that his government would sue Argentina, seeking compensation.

Argentina and Iran clashed last year when Argentine President Carlos Menem accused Teheran of being involved in the July 18, 1994, bombing of the Jewish communal headquarters building that left 86 dead and at last 300 wounded.

As a result of that accusation, Iran removed its ambassador from Buenos Aires.

Since that time, relations between the two countries have remained at the level of charge d’affaires.

Sources in the Argentine foreign ministry said that negotiations between Iran and Argentina over the nuclear contract will continue, with meetings in Buenos Aires slated for early March.

Argentina continued to refuse to deliver the nuclear reactor, but has offered financial compensation to Iran.

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