The first shipment of Bushehr nuclear power plant fuel was delivered to Iran today. The Bushehr nuclear power plant is 95% complete and is expected to go online next year.
The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Gholamreza Aqazadeh, told reporters in Tehran that the fuel delivery does not mean Iran would stop its own uranium enrichment program. The enriched uranium will be used, he said, in a power plant to be built in Darkhovin, Khuzistan.
Iran analysts believe that the Darkhovin plant is in its very early phase of planning and the construction, let alone the completion, of such plant would take many years to come. Aghazadeh’s assertion that an accelerated uranium enrichment program is needed now to supply fuel to a plant that does not even exists was greeted with skepticism.
Russia’s director of the center for studies of modern Iran told reporters in Moscow that the fuel delivery under the supervision of IAEA removes the specter of a military conflict over Iran’s own nuclear program.
The White House today called the shipment another reason for Iran to suspend its own uranium enrichment program.
“If the Russians are providing the Iranians fuel, the Iranians have no reason to enrich uranium themselves," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.