IranIran Nuclear Watch

Iran Nuclear Watch: Russia Postpones Nuclear Plant Launch Over Payments


The Bushehr nuclear reactor in southern Iran

AP: Russians: Iran nuke plant to be delayed

The state-run Russian company building Iran’s first nuclear power plant said Monday that the reactor’s launch will be postponed because of Iranian payment delays.

“It will be impossible to launch the reactor in September, and there can be no talk about supplying fuel this month,” Atomstroiexport said in a statement that followed the collapse of bilateral talks last week on the funding dispute. It accused the Iranians of failing to give a written obligation to resume funding for the project.

Russia has accused Iran of paying only a fraction of the required monthly payments of $25 million (euro19 million) for construction work at Bushehr in recent months, and warned that the funding delays would push back both the reactor’s launch and the delivery of the uranium fuel needed to power the reactor.

Iran has urged Russia to speed up the fuel delivery, but Russian officials said it would only be delivered six months before the plant’s launch.

Of course, Iran denies there are payment problems and demands that Russia deliver the uranium fuel.

You cannot blame the Russians for demanding payment up front.

After all, the Bushehr reactor is a prime site for this:

And Bushehr is on the coast of Iran, an easy target for the US Navy.

But, does Iran need the uranium fuel for their energy diversion program?




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The Natanz uranium enrichment complex in Natanz is pictured in this January 2, 2006 satellite image.

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