7 February 2005 -- The United States appears to be taking a relaxed view of an expected deal in which Russia will supply nuclear fuel for a Russian-built nuclear reactor in Iran.
U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said today that Washington's understanding is that Russia will have guarantees that the nuclear fuel will not be diverted to military applications.
"The deal was structured so that whatever assistance Russia provided Iran would be accounted for, and would be guaranteed [that it] could not support a nuclear program," Ereli said.
Ereli's comment comes after Reuter news agency reported that Russia is preparing to sign the deal with Iran to start nuclear fuel shipments to the nearly completed Bushehr nuclear plant.
The head of Russia's Atomic Energy Agency, Aleksandr Rumyantsev, travels to Iran at the end of February.
The United States has long opposed the Moscow-Tehran nuclear link, on the grounds that Iran could use Russian-supplied materials to secretly make a nuclear bomb.