Iran denies Russian claim of delayed payments on reactor

Top official says no foot-dragging on Bushehr nuclear power plant payments, accuses Moscow of trying to prolong reactor's launch.

Bushehr 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Bushehr 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
A top nuclear official in Iran on Monday rejected claims that Teheran had been dragging its feet on payments for a Russian-built nuclear power plant, and accused Moscow of trying to prolong the reactor's launch, the official news agency reported. Russian officials on Monday said uranium fuel deliveries to the Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran and the reactor's launch could fall behind schedule because of Iran's delays in payment. But Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, denied that Iran had been late making payments. "Iran has had no delay whatsoever in making payments for the Bushehr nuclear power plant to the Russian ... company," Saeedi was quoted as saying by the news agency, IRNA. The launching of the Bushehr plant has been delayed for several years on what Russia has said are technical reasons. Last year, Russia agreed to ship fuel to the plant by March 2007 and launch the facility in September, with electricity generation to start by November.