Russia will switch on Iran’s first nuclear power plant this weekend as Moscow seeks to boost its global influence by acting as a power broker between Tehran and the West.
Russian nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko said the Bushehr reactor will open under international supervision.
“The launch will begin on Saturday with inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency in attendance,” he said in televised remarks.
“They will unseal the containers with the fuel that we supplied them more than a year ago, after coordinating this deal with all our international partners.”
Russia has been building the plant in Iran since the mid-1990s and supplied the uranium fuel to be used in it.
It is expected to start generating electricity from November. Spent nuclear fuel from the plant will be sent back to Russia.
The US and its allies accuse Tehran of wanting to build a nuclear weapon.
The Iranian government insists its programme is for purely peaceful purposes.