Azerbaijan reportedly halted a shipment of Russian equipment destined for Iran's Bushehr nuclear powerplant, pending more information regarding the exact nature of the cargo. The Russian state-run company Atomstroiexport said one or two trucks carrying the equipment were stopped two weeks ago at the town of Astara, on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border.
"Considering the sensitivity of the situation, we need to know all the details in order to know whether the shipment falls under UN sanctions," said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Khazar Ibragim.
"Azerbaijani border guards stopped the cargo at the Azerbaijan-Iranian border" said Atomstroiexport spokeswoman Irina Yesipova. "This situation is unlikely to seriously affect the commissioning schedule, although a slight risk still persists," she said.
The press service of Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee said it had no information that the cargo had been seized.
The Baku-based Trend news agency meanwhile quoted the customs service as saying that the equipment did not have special permission from the Azerbaijan government to be transited through Azerbaijan.
Russia delivered its final and eighth fuel shipment to Bushehr on January 28. Russia has supplied a total of 82 metric tons of low-enriched uranium to the light-water nuclear power plant. Iran hopes its first nuclear power plant will be launched in October.