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ODS MPs push to preserve ban on deliveries to Iranian nuke plant

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Prague, April 17 (CTK) – The Civic Democrat (ODS) deputies group chairman Zbynek Stanjura, supported by other parties, suggested to the Czech lower house on Tuesday not to approve the Communist (KSCM) proposal on dropping the law banning supplies to the Iranian nuclear power plant Bushehr.

The lower house did not decide on the proposal on Tuesday yet and it may continue discussing it on Wednesday.

The KSCM had already proposed the dropping of the ban, which took effect in 2000, in 2009 and resubmitted it to the lower house during the past election term.

The former CSSD cabinet proposed the same but failed to push it through in the lower house. While the cabinet as a whole had a neutral standpoint on this, the Defence Ministry was opposed to it.

In 2017, the Czech Confederation of Industry and Transportation and the Economic Chamber supported the removal of the ban.

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.

The KSCM argues that the ban prevents normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran and harms the Czech export.

However, their proposal is being criticised once again, similarly to when it was debated by the previous lower house set-up.

MP Ondrej Benesik (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said he did not think the Czech Republic should partake in the nuclear programme of the theocratic Islamic government of Iran directly or indirectly.

According to TOP 09 deputy group chairman Miroslav Kalousek, it was in the national interest that the ban be preserved, as Iran’s nuclear programme was already so advanced that its rockets could reach the Czech Republic within a few years.

The government ANO deputies, on the other hand, maintained that the committees should take time to thoroughly debate the proposal.

The world powers reached an agreement with Iran based on which they entered into a treaty on Iran’s nuclear programme. The International Agency for Atomic Power, which supervises the performance of the treaty, said in 2016 Iran had been observing its commitments.

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