Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Russia cuts off Iran's nuclear supply

Story: "Russia has informed Iran that it will withhold nuclear fuel for Iran’s nearly completed Bushehr power plant unless Iran suspends its uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council, European, American and Iranian officials said.

The ultimatum was delivered in Moscow last week by Igor Ivanov, Russia’s Security Council Secretary, to Ali Hosseini Tash, Iran’s deputy chief nuclear negotiator, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a confidential diplomatic exchange between two governments was involved.

For years, President Bush has been pressing President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to cut off help to Iran on the nuclear reactor, which is Tehran’s first serious effort to produce nuclear energy and has been highly profitable for Russia. But Mr. Putin has resisted.

Recently, however, Moscow and Tehran have been engaged in a public argument about whether Iran has paid its bills, in a dispute that may explain Russia’s apparent shift. The ultimatum may also reflect Moscow’s increasing displeasure and frustration with Iran over its refusal to stop enriching uranium at its vast facility at Natanz.

“We’re not sure what mix of commercial and political motives are at play here,” one senior Bush administration official said in Washington. “But clearly the Russians and the Iranians are getting on each other’s nerves — and that’s not all bad.

Iran wont' pay Russia, so Russia won't give them the nuclear material. Once again, capitalism saves the day. :D
This is good news though, because the Russians were the main 'old' nation supporting Iran. Unfortunately, I think Iran is far enough along that this may only hinder their efforts for a nuke temporarily.

"The Bushehr nuclear project has a long history. For more than a decade, Russia has been working under a $1 billion contract to complete the ambitious project, which was begun with Germany during the time of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. After the 1979 Iranian revolution, the project was halted; then the site was bombed by Iraq during its eight-year war with Iran. When Iran decided to complete the facility after the war ended, Germany, under pressure from the United States, refused to finish the project or even provide Moscow with the original blueprints.

The project — already eight years behind schedule — is now almost complete. Last year, Russia agreed to ship low-enriched fuel to the plant in southern Iran by March 2007 and open the facility in September, with electricity generation to start by November.

But in mid-February, Russia contended that Iran had not made the two last $25 million monthly payments, after insisting that it be allowed to pay in euros instead of dollars. Russian officials also cited a delay in the delivery of safety equipment from an unspecified third country as a secondary reason for the decision."

I shudder to think of what shape our world may be in if this project had stayed on schedule. A nuke for 9/11, perhaps?


Mercy Now said...

Yes, it's about time the Russians decide to wake up and see the reality of dangerous WMDs in the hands of irrational lunatics.

Detective J said...

Whatever Russia's motives, I'm glad they made the decision!

Detective J said...

Why won't it keep my name as a link???

Detective J said...

Well, you can find a link on my blogger profile page now by clicking on my name