Iran gets another nuclear fuel batch from Russia: report

Iran Materials 11 May 2011 21:04 (UTC +04:00)

Iran has received another shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia for use at its Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Arabic-language al Alam channel quoted an official as saying Wednesday, Reuters reported.

"The shipments were transferred to Iran from Russia by plane in three phases on May 4, 8 and 10," spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Hamid Khadem Ghaemi told al Alam state channel. He said 30 metric tons of fuel had been received.

Russia delivered the first batch of about 80 metric tons of uranium fuel rods to Iran in 2008 on December 17 as part of international efforts to persuade Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment program.

The $1 billion Bushehr plant, which was built by Russia, is the Islamic state's first and only nuclear power plant. Russia says the Bushehr project is being built under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog.

The United States and its allies say they believe Iran's uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities are aimed at building nuclear weapons. Iran says it needs nuclear fuel purely to produce energy.

Bushehr has for years caused friction between Russia and Western powers pressing for restrictions on economic cooperation with Iran.

Tehran plans to build 19 new 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants in the Islamic Republic to meet the country's growing electricity demand.

International and U.N. sanctions have been imposed on Iran for its refusal to halt enrichment.