Friday, May 12, 2006

Russia Will Produce and Deliver Nuclear Fuel to Iran

Tehran and Moscow have finalized legal and technical preparations for Russian production and delivery of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr power plant, Deputy Director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Saeedi said in an interview posted on the IRNA Iranian news agency’s website on Thursday.

Saeedi, who is currently visiting Moscow, said that a location for storing nuclear fuel had been prepared. Russia should start deliveries of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr power plant in the near future in keeping with earlier agreements,” he said. READ MORE

A representative of the Russian company Atomstroieksport, which is carrying out the work, said that the first reactor of the station is almost 90-per-cent ready. Construction was due to be finished by the end of this year. Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia’s nuclear power agency Rosatom, said that Russian deliveries of fuel to the plant would take place six months before the unit is powered up, DPA reports.

The United States is highly critical of Russia’s cooperation with Iran and says the technology is being used in a secret weapons programme. Russia says the work, including measures for the return of spent fuel, complies fully with international law. Iran also insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Earlier talks at the UN brought no breakthrough when Iran said it would continue developing a full fuel cycle.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Igor Ivanov, warned that any military action against Iran ’will lead to consequences that may seriously explode the situation in the region and elsewhere.’ Russia is pursuing a diplomatic solution to the dispute and opposes sanctions, which the U.S. government considers necessary to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.