A control panel at the Bushehr plant (Fars)
March 14, 2007 -- A top U.S. energy official has praised Russia's decision to delay construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.
During a visit to Moscow today, U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell said Moscow's actions were "consistent with our common interests and common concerns."
Russia on March 12 said construction of the plant would be delayed due to Iran's failure to make payments, a charge Tehran denies.
Atomstroieksport, the Russian state company responsible for building the plant, said today the payment delays could cause "irreversible" damage to the project.
Meanwhile, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said today that any delays in building the plant would endanger Russian-Iranian trade relations.
Washington opposes the Bushehr project, saying Iran could use the know-how for nuclear weapons.
A demonstration in support of Iran's nuclear program outside the Isfahan uranium-conversion facility in Isfahan in January (epa)
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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
CHRONOLOGY An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.