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Lower house insists on ban on deliveries to Iranian nuke plant

Sep 11
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Prague Monitor

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Czech Chamber of Deputies did not approve the government proposal to cancel a law banning supplies to the Iranian nuclear power plant Bushehr, passed in 2000, on Friday.

The government argued that since sanctions on Iran in the nuclear sphere were lifted, the threat of harming the Czech Republic's interest is no longer valid.

However, a number of deputies expressed fears of the Iranian nuclear programme and of harming good relations with Israel.

The law banning supplies to Bushehr was adopted in reaction to the intention of the Czech engineering company ZVVZ Milevsko to supply air conditioning technology to the power plant. The planned contract was criticised by Great Britain and the USA, as they suspected Iran of making use of civil programmes to cover its military nuclear projects.

The law banned Czech producers from exporting goods and providing services, documentation and information related to Bushehr, which was under construction at that time.

Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said earlier the ban was outdated.

Last year, the Chamber of Deputies rejected the same proposal, tabled by the Communists (KSCM).

This is why Zbynek Stanjura, chairman of the deputies for the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), proposed that the current government proposal be rejected, too, arguing that the Chamber of Deputies should behave in the same way.

TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek said the Chamber of Deputies should take into account the views of Israel, the country which felt threatened by the Iranian nuclear programme.

Kalousek said Israel had addressed a number of deputies officially and unofficially, saying that it would not like to see the cancellation of the legislation.

"A friend is not jettisoned even if money can be gained," Kalousek said.

Czech companies are losing contracts due to the law banning supplies to Bushehr, Czech Chamber of Commerce head Vladimir Dlouhy said in January.

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