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Iran Says Bushehr Dispute Justifies Enrichment Program --> Ali Larijani delivering a speech in January (Courtesy Photo) March 13, 2007 -- Iran has urged Russia to stick to its obligations.

The comment comes a day after the state-run Russian company building Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushehr, Atomstroieksport, said Russia will not deliver uranium fuel this month as earlier planned because of late payments.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani today rejected the claim and said Russia's decision underlines the need to produce nuclear fuel at home.

He also rejected reports saying that Russia would not proceed with the Bushehr plant unless Iran suspends uranium enrichment, as demanded by the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Gholam-Hussein Elham said further negotiations could resolve the dispute.

Atomstroieksport officials traveled to Tehran on February 12 for a fresh round of talks, a week after negotiations in Moscow failed to resolve the dispute.


Talking Technical

A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)

CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)


Tehran Says It Is Working On Advanced Nuclear Fusion

Would Light-Water Reactor Suit Tehran's Needs?

Satellite Images Raise Questions About Iran's Nuclear Program

Centrifuges And Political Spin?

How Close Is Iran To Getting Nuclear Bomb?

Iran: The Worst-Case Scenarios

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.