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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Jakarta, 1 August (AKI) - Delegates of Indonesia's parliamentary defence commission are scheduled to travel to Iran to study the country's nuclear programme, MP Boy M.W. Saul told the Jakarta-based news site Tempo Interactive. The five delegates, the deputy said, "will see how far advanced nuclear development is, whether it's used for peaceful purposes." No date has been set for the trip yet, though reports say it is imminent.

Indonesia has always defended Iran's right to a nuclear programme, provided it is for civilian purposes, as Iran claims it is. The international community fears instead Tehran is trying to build atomic weapons and the UN Security Council voted on Monday a legally binding resolution threatening Iran with sanctions if it fails to comply with its demand to halt uraniumn enrichment and reprocessing activities by 31 August.

Jakarta has announced it means to pursue a civilian nuclear programme to cover its electricity needs which grow on average by 10 percent a year.

Minister of energy and mineral resources, Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said that Indonesia plans to build its first nuclear power plant by 2015. The plant should be built in the peninsula of Muria, on the north-eastern coast of Semarang in central Java. The national agency of atomic energy Batan said the site was chosen as it is considered fairly safe in a country well known for its seismic activity and volcanoes.

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