BUSHEHR, Iran — Iranian and Russian engineers have begun loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant, a major milestone as Teheran forges ahead with an atomic program despite UN sanctions.
The weeklong operation to load fuel into the reactor at the Bushehr power plant in southern Iran ends years of foot-dragging by Russia, which signed a $1 billion contract in 1995 to build the plant but delayed its completion several times.
Russia is one of six world powers leading efforts to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, and Moscow says the Bushehr project is essential for persuading Iran to cooperate. The US disagrees, saying Iran should not be rewarded while it defies UN demands.
Iran insists its program is only for energy production.