The first Russian shipment of nuclear fuel has been delivered to Iran’s Bushehr atomic power station. Contracted by Iran to build its first ever nuclear power plant, Moscow says Tehran has given its assurances the fuel won’t be used for other purposes.
The statement comes in response to concerns by the West which suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons. The US and its allies have called on Russia not to dispatch the fuel. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says it is his country’s inalienable right to develop nuclear power for civilian purposes.
He welcomed a US intelligence report two weeks ago which suggested his country had halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.
Tehran has come under repeated international sanctions for refusing to stop enriching uranium. The Bushehr plant should be fully operational in around eight months’ time.