Iran Nuclear NewsLaunch of Iranian reactor may be delayed

Launch of Iranian reactor may be delayed

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AP: Uranium fuel deliveries for a Russian-built nuclear reactor in Iran and its launch could be delayed because of the Iranian government dragging its feet on payments, officials said Monday. Associated Press

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW (AP) – Uranium fuel deliveries for a Russian-built nuclear reactor in Iran and its launch could be delayed because of the Iranian government dragging its feet on payments, officials said Monday.

Iran broke the schedule of payments this year under a $1 billion plan to build the Bushehr nuclear plant, said a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

He said the Iranians cited technical reasons for the delay in payments.

Russia’s Federal Nuclear Power Agency spokesman Sergei Novikov said the delay could derail the launch schedule.

Last year, Russia agreed to ship fuel to the Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran by March 2007 and launch the facility in September, with electricity generation to start by November.

“The launch schedule definitely could be affected,” Novikov told The Associated Press.

In December, Russia supported a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing limited sanctions against Iran over Iran’s refusal to stop uranium enrichment.

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