Iran Nuclear NewsNearly all nuclear fuel now delivered by Russia to...

Nearly all nuclear fuel now delivered by Russia to Iran: report

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AFP: Russia delivered the seventh out of eight consignments of fuel for Iran’s first nuclear power plant in the Gulf port of Bushehr on Saturday, the official IRNA news agency reported. TEHRAN (AFP) — Russia delivered the seventh out of eight consignments of fuel for Iran’s first nuclear power plant in the Gulf port of Bushehr on Saturday, the official IRNA news agency reported.

“The seventh load of nuclear fuel arrived at the Bushehr plant on Saturday morning,” Iran’s Organisation for Production and Development of Nuclear Energy said in a statement.

The delivery brings the amount of nuclear fuel supplied by Russia so far to 77 tonnes or around 94 percent of the total order of 82 tonnes, IRNA said.

Russia began delivering the fuel on December 17, and the final consignment is due by February according to a timetable agreed by the two sides.

Late last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the Bushehr reactor would be working at 50 percent capacity by mid-2008.

However the Russian constructors insist that the 1,000-megawatt plant will not go on line until the end of the year.

After delivering the first shipment of fuel, Russia said Iran no longer needed to pursue its own uranium enrichment, a message repeated by US President George W. Bush.

But Tehran insists it has a right to enrich uranium and has defied successive UN calls to halt the controversial work, prompting two sets of UN Security Council sanctions.

The Western powers fear that Iran could use uranium enrichment, which can also make the fissile core of an atom bomb, for military purposes. Iran denies the charges and says it only wants to meet the country’s growing energy needs.

World powers have agreed on a new set of sanctions to punish Iran for its defiance, but a scheduled meeting on Friday of the full UN Security Council to discuss the new measures has been put off to early next week.

The new draft, agreed by the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States (P-5) and Germany, includes an outright ban on travel by officials involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes, according to a text obtained by AFP on Friday.

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