Enriched uranium fuel is ready to be shipped from Russia to Iran's first nuclear power plant, state television on Sunday quoted Iran's foreign minister as saying.
The announcement comes after talks in Moscow between minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Russian nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko to address delays in completing the $1 billion joint Iranian-Russian Bushehr power plant.
"Nuclear fuel for this power plant, inspected and sealed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, is ready," the broadcast quoted Mottaki as saying late on Saturday. "We do see the trend of cooperation between Iran and Russia moving ahead for the Bushehr power plant."
The project, Iran's first nuclear power plant, has been beset by repeated delays due to payment problems on the Iranian side, according to the Russians. Tehran, however, maintains it is because Moscow has been caving into Western pressure to halt the project.
While Russia has continued to oppose a U.S. push for tougher sanctions against Tehran, Russian officials have shown growing irritation with Iran's refusal to freeze its own uranium enrichment effort. Moscow appears to be using its control over the Bushehr project to press Iran for concessions on its nuclear program.
Russian officials say the plant cannot open until six months after fuel is delivered.
Enriched to a low degree, uranium is used as a reactor fuel; higher enrichment creates material for a nuclear warhead.
In a separate report, state television said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had offered his country's nuclear knowledge to Saudi Arabia.
Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2007, 13:20