Saturday, May 26, 2007

Russians and Iranians bicker over Bushehr

Whoo boy, and wouldn't I love to see the Russians get stiffed on this one.

Moscow, 25 May (AKI) - Russia is concerned that upcoming talks with Iran over a delay in payments for the construction of its Bushehr nuclear power plant could not take place, reports said Friday, after US president George W. Bush called for the introduction of fresh sanctions against Tehran. Bush's statements followed a UN report which said the country could have the atomic bomb in three to eight years and sparked Moscow's fears that the project could be halted. The construction of the nuclear reactor with Russian technology, which has been repeatedly delayed, should have originally been completed by September this year.

Moscow and Tehran have been bickering publicly over what Russia says are tens of millions of dollars in delayed payments for its work on Bushehr, a claim rejected by Tehran.

The plant is key for Tehran which is facing a second wave of UN sanctions after repeatedly refusing to halt sensitive nuclear work that the international community fears is aimed at building nuclear weapons.

Without Russian uranium, the plant cannot begin generating electricity by September as originally scheduled. Iran had planned a fully operational Bushehr to boost its position in negotiations over its nuclear programme which it claims is solely for civilian use.

You can find a more in-depth look at the Iranian nuclear facilities here if you wish. See a gallery of great Bushehr images here.