The United States lost a long battle when Russia, as it announced on Monday, delivered nuclear fuel to an Iranian power plant that is at the center of an international dispute over its nuclear program. Iran, for its part, confirmed on Monday plans to build a second such plant.
In announcing that it had delivered the first shipment of enriched-uranium fuel rods to the power plant, at Bushehr in southern Iran, on Sunday, Russian officials said that while the fuel was in Iran, it would be under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear monitoring agency for the United Nations. Russia also said the Iranian government had guaranteed that the fuel would be used only for the power plant.
The Bush administration took pains not to criticize the Russian move publicly, even expressing support for outside supplies if that led Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment program. [complete article]
Iran confirmed Monday that it had received the first fuel shipment for its nuclear power plant at Bushehr, but also indicated for the first time that it was building a second nuclear power plant.
The revelation came in comments by the president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, made to state-run television and reported by the semiofficial Fars news agency. He was dismissing speculation that the arrival of the fuel would allow Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, in Natanz.
“We are building a 360-megawatt indigenous power plant in Darkhovein,” he said, referring to a southern city north of Bushehr. [complete article]