DPA: A meeting of the Russian-Iranian cooperation commission slated for Wednesday in Moscow has been postponed as experts from the UN’s nuclear watchdog inspect intended Russian fuel deliveries to Iran. Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Moscow (dpa) – A meeting of the Russian-Iranian cooperation commission slated for Wednesday in Moscow has been postponed as experts from the UN’s nuclear watchdog inspect intended Russian fuel deliveries to Iran.
The Moscow visit of the Iranian delegation led by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has been rescheduled for mid-December, Russian news agency Interfax said.
Mottaki last met with the head of Russia’s atomic energy agency Sergey Kiriyenko in September as part of ongoing talks over Russia’s construction of Iran’s first nuclear power plant.
Experts from the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency are set to complete their inspection Thursday of uranium fuel shipments at Russia’s Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrate Plant intended for the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, Interfax reported on Tuesday.
The Novosibirsk plant, Russia’s main manufacturer of nuclear fuel, has stored some 100 tonnes of uranium fuel for Iran’s plant, but Russia has said the fuel will be delivered only six months before the Bushehr plant goes online.
Observers comment that Russia has delayed deliveries of fuel to the Bushehr power plant because it does not fully trust Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and fears an international backlash amid concern over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Russia has repeatedly pushed back the start-up date for the plant, citing delays in payments from Tehran. Iranian officials deny any payment issues and claim the technology is for civilian use only.
In Tehran last month, President Vladimir Putin promised Russia would complete the Bushehr plant that has been almost a decade in the building.
Russia has grudgingly supported sanctions initiated by the United States and some European countries who allege Iran’s atomic energy programme is a cover for ambitions to build nuclear weapons, but opposes tougher measures.