New York Times: Russia Gives Iran Ultimatum on Enrichment
Russia has informed Iran that it will withhold nuclear fuel for Iranâ€™s nearly completed Bushehr power plant unless Iran suspends its uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council, European, American and Iranian officials said.
The ultimatum was delivered in Moscow last week by Igor Ivanov, Russiaâ€™s Security Council Secretary, to Ali Hosseini Tash, Iranâ€™s deputy chief nuclear negotiator, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a confidential diplomatic exchange between two governments was involved.
For years, President Bush has been pressing President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to cut off help to Iran on the nuclear reactor, which is Tehranâ€™s first serious effort to produce nuclear energy and has been highly profitable for Russia. But Mr. Putin has resisted.
Recently, however, Moscow and Tehran have been engaged in a public argument about whether Iran has paid its bills, in a dispute that may explain Russiaâ€™s apparent shift. The ultimatum may also reflect Moscowâ€™s increasing displeasure and frustration with Iran over its refusal to stop enriching uranium at its vast facility at Natanz.
Well, Flap supposes Russia is pissed because Iran is stalling on paying them. Did the Iranian Mullahs really think they could stonewall the Kremilin? Or STIFF them?
Or are the Russians thinkng of their OWN self-interest?
Either by providing Iran with reactor grade (non-nuclear weapons grade) enriched uranium processed in Russia and make some money along with quick-starting a new Russian business enterprise or shutting down any chance of a nuclear weapons laden Iran.
Whatever the rationale, this “bargaining chip” may forestall an Israeli and/or American military strike on Iran.
And what will Iran do?
The Bushehr nuclear reactor in southern Iran
The Natanz uranium enrichment complex in Natanz is pictured in this January 2, 2006 satellite image.
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