Kremlin Will Ship Atomic Fuel to Iran

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The New York Sun

MOSCOW — By March, Russia will ship fuel to an atomic power plant that it is building in Iran under an agreement signed yesterday, news agencies reported, as Tehran’s nuclear chief met with a Russian security officer at the Kremlin.

The deal signed by head of the state-run company Atomstroiexport, Sergei Shmatko, and the vice president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Mahmoud Hanatian, should allay Iran’s complaints that Moscow is dragging its feet on supplying fuel for the Bushehr plant.

It will also renew concerns by the West, which accuses Tehran of seeking to enrich uranium in order to build nuclear weapons.Iran insists its nuclear program is for energy-generating purposes only.


ITAR-Tass reported that Mr. Shmatko met Mr. Hanatian to sign an additional protocol setting out a time frame for starting up the Bushehr plant.

“The document provides for supplying Russian fuel for the atomic energy plant in March, physical startup in September 2007, and electric generation by November 2007,” Mr. Hanatian was quoted as saying by ITAR-Tass. Mr. Shmatko said about 80 tons of fuel would be supplied, according to Interfax and ITAR-Tass.

Meanwhile, the Russian Security Council chief, Igor Ivanov, insisted again on seeking a diplomatic solution to international concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program at a meeting with Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh of Iran.


“We are firmly convinced of the need to resolve the question of the Iranian nuclear program through the negotiation process,” Mr. Ivanov said.

“We consider it necessary that Iran should be guaranteed the right to peacefully develop nuclear energy … and also to remove the concerns of the international community regarding obligations under the nonproliferation regime,” he told Mr. Aghazadeh.

“We will strictly fulfill our obligations,” Mr. Ivanov said.

The New York Sun

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