Russia made its first shipment of enriched uranium to the Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr.
Atomstroyexport, the Russian firm that has been building the Iranian plant, reached a deal last week to complete construction following a series of delays, which many thought were linked to behind-the-scenes diplomacy, paving the way for the shipment.
The Bushehr power plant is at the center of the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program. The United States and its European allies accuse Iran of advancing a clandestine weapons program, while Russia maintains that a lack of evidence supports that conclusion. Russia will be providing the enriched uranium to power the plant under a plan accepted by the United Nations.
The Russian government has offered assurances that the fuel, shipped Sunday, will not be used for anything but nuclear power, according to an Associated Press report.
“All fuel that will be delivered will be under the control and guarantees of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the whole time it stays on Iranian territory,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Moreover, the Iranian side gave additional written guarantees that the fuel will be used only for the Bushehr nuclear power plant.”