Reuters: Russia on Tuesday denied a report that senior officials had warned Iran that nuclear fuel for its first atomic power station would be withheld unless Tehran suspended uranium enrichment. MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Tuesday denied a report that senior officials had warned Iran that nuclear fuel for its first atomic power station would be withheld unless Tehran suspended uranium enrichment.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Igor Ivanov, the secretary of the Russian national security council, had delivered the ultimatum at a meeting in Moscow last week.
“The assertion of the newspaper that the Russian side, as part of Russian-Iranian consultations in Moscow on March 12, supposedly delivered some sort of ultimatum is not true,” Russia’s security council said in a statement.
Russia this month announced indefinite delays to the Bushehr nuclear power station, which a Russian state-owned firm is helping to build, after Iran missed millions of dollars in payments for the station.
Some analysts said Moscow’s patience was wearing thin with Iran and that the Kremlin had decided to take a tougher line in negotiations with Tehran.
But the Security Council said Moscow was not linking the building of the station to international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.
“The resolution of the Iranian nuclear problem and the completion of the building of the atomic power station in Bushehr is not being tied together by the Russian side,” the security council statement said.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the delays to Bushehr were purely technical.
“The existing problems in this area have an exclusively financial and technical character,” the foreign ministry said.