MOSCOW - Russia's top nuclear agency says that five experts involved in the construction of Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant have died in Monday's plane crash in northeastern Russia.

Rosatom said Wednesday that the five men were among 44 passengers of the Tu-134 plane that slammed into highway near the Petrozavodsk airport.

It said the experts were on their way from Moscow to a meeting at a Rosatom subsidiary that manufactures equipment for nuclear plants.

Rosatom said the men worked for three Rosatom subsidiaries that have long been involved in the Bushehr project.

The United States and some of its allies believe the Bushehr plant is part of an Iranian attempt to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusation.