Third Russian uranium shipment to Iran despite Israeli warnings

Russia Herald

The third Russian fuel shipment arrived Friday at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran despite warnings by Israel.

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had Thursday warned in Moscow that Russian nuclear fuel deliveries to Iran could be used for military purposes, Interfax reported.

Addressing her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, she said Iran showed proof of 'dangerous ideology, bordering on madness'.

But despite the warnings, the third shipment of 11 tonnes of enriched uranium arrived in the Bushehr port Friday and five more shipments are expected to arrive before March.

According to the bilateral agreement, Iran is to receive a total of 82 tonnes of nuclear fuel for its Bushehr power plant in eight shipments.

Iran hopes to launch its first nuclear power station in summer 2008 but Russia says Bushehr would not go on line until the end of the year.

Iran has said Russian shipments would not stop the country from pursuing its own uranium enrichment program, which the UN Security Council has ordered Tehran to suspend, threatening further US-backed sanctions.

The Israeli foreign minister said Russia was 'vitally important in resolving the situation surrounding Iran,' pointing to Russia's Security Council vote.