Iran does not need own uranium enrichment - U.S. State Department
The upcoming physical launch of the Bushehr nuclear reactor proves that Iran does not need to build indigenous uranium enrichment facilities and could use nuclear fuel provide by other countries, a U.S. State Department spokesman said.
The Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) said last Friday the first reactor at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (NPP) would be loaded with Russian nuclear fuel on August 21, RIA Novosti reported.
"Bushehr is a civilian nuclear project and it actually proves that they don't need to build indigenous enrichment facilities," Acting Deputy Department Spokesman Mark Toner said during a daily press briefing on Tuesday.
"And actually it provides a model that we've extended - the P-5+1 [or Iran Six] has extended to Iran," he added.
The official said that Washington continued to have concerns about Tehran's failure to meet with international commitments and to seek enrichment of uranium.
Toner stressed, though, that Bushehr was "unconnected to their [Iranian] enrichment activities."
The construction of Iran's first nuclear plant was begun in 1975 by several German construction companies. They pulled out following a U.S. embargo on high-technology supplies to Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. Embassy siege in Tehran.
Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete construction in February 1998.
On June 9, 2010, the UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo, as well as an asset ban on three dozen companies and a travel freeze on individuals.
Later, the United States and the European Union imposed extra sanctions against Iran, including tougher restrictions on the energy sector and a tougher trade embargo.
The construction of the Bushehr NPP has not been affected by the sanctions against Iran.