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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Iran slams Russian move not to ship nuclear fuel

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on Tuesday deplored Russia's decision not to ship nuclear fuel to Iran as agreed, a move that delays the start of Iran's first nuclear power plant.

"This (Russian decision) shows that there is no such thing as a guarantee to deliver nuclear fuel," the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Larijani as saying Tuesday.

The Russian move, announced Monday, means that Iran's first nuclear reactor will not come on stream in September, as was scheduled. This is a major political blow to Iran which expected the commissioned power plant to boost its position in long-running negotiations with the United Nations over its nuclear program.

"Russains are extortionists," the Iranian lawmaker Rasoul Sediqi Bonabi said Tuesday. "Moscow has never been a reliable partner and will never be so in the future."

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