As the U.N’s U.S-led fourth round of sanctions try to hammer the Iranian government into giving up its nuclear program, Russia, one of the U.N Security Council members that had voted for the sanctions albeit reluctantly, announced it would deliver nuclear fuel into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear-power plant. Russian officials said the delivery of fuel would be completed on August 21. The Obama administration unsurprisingly supported Russia’s action as the compromise in having Russia’s vote for the U.N sanctions included the finalization of the Bushehr plant.
Ever since the late 1990′s Russia was closely partnered with Iran in constructing the nuclear-power plant. Even before Russia entered the picture, the site of the nuclear power plant was developed in the 1970′s right before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that turned most Western nations against the Islamic Republic.
Outside influence ever since including the recent Western response to Iran’s nuclear program has delayed the conclusion of the plant project. The Iranian government was delighted at Russia’s announcement and declared it was “eager to start”.
Some voiced concerns from Western nations were put down by both Russia’s insistence that their action did not reflect their attitude concerning the ”transparency” of Iran’s nuclear program and the terms of the Russian-Iran deal. Under the agreement Russia must deliver lowly enriched uranium to Iran which in turn must return all depleted uranium back to Russia via Russian-controlled convoys under the International Atomic Energy Agency’s watchful eyes. This procedure will assumedly prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons at its first nuclear power-plant.
Critics say Russia has delivered a “wrong message” to Iran’s government and the rest of the world: Russia by delivering atomic fuel to Iran has showed the fourth round of economic sanctions to be ineffective on Iran’s ability to achieve its wants.
Furthermore, the controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had been criticized by other Iranian statesmen for “wasting precious time and money” on the Bushehr plant, has had his position solidified in face of growing internal tensions.
The state-owned Rosatom corporation’s representative Sergei Novikov will be present at the Bushehr’s opening ceremony on August 21. A week or so after Russia’s Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation delivers the fuel, Iran’s atomic agency will activate the Bushehr plant by moving the uranium fuel into the reactor.