Russia is likely to delay shipments of enriched uranium fuel to Iran to start up a Russian-built atomic power plant there until the autumn, a source in the Russian nuclear authority said on Monday.
At the time officials said fuel shipments to the Bushehr plant may start as soon as April.
It would be helpful to know a little more about the “source.” And who are these “officials” whose claims differ from Russia’s official statements regarding Bushehr fuel delivery?
Although the fuel delivery schedule is — as far as I know — still secret, Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev “said”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_04/Bushehr.asp in February that the first shipment will occur “some six months” before the reactor begins operation in late 2006. How does the claim that Russia will “delay” shipments to Autumn 2005 jibe with Rumyantsev’s statement that such shipments won’t occur until mid-2006?
Now, if Moscow delayed the fresh-fuel shipment for Bushehr in order to presure Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA/EU3, _that_ would be news. Indeed, a State Department official “told me”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_04/Bushehr.asp that Washington thinks Moscow may do something along those lines.
But nothing like that seems to be going on, at least according to he Reuters story. So what’s going on?