DUBAI: A senior Russian official has given details about the status of Iran’s atomic power plant in Bushehr and said the project would become “irreversible” within the next five months.
“Between December 2008 and February 2009, various technical measures will be carried out… that will make the physical start-up process of the first Bushehr reactor irreversible,” Iran’s Press TV quoted Leonid Reznikov, head of Russia Atomstroiexport, as saying.
The company’s spokesperson, however, said talks between Russian and Iranian officials later this month would determine the date of the formal launch of the power plant.
Apart from being the nodal agency engaged in executing the project, Atomstroiexport trains Iranian personnel, who would be involved in running the plant. So far, the company has delivered eight fuel consignments to Bushehr.
Russia’s announcement comes amid reports that Iran-Russia partnership could deepen following western hostility towards Moscow’s military moves in Georgia.
The Sunday Times, quoting a source close to the Russian military, said Moscow is considering sending its nuclear experts to Tehran.
It is also looking at inviting Iranian nuclear scientists to Russia.
The report follows Washington’s announcement of a $1-billion aid package to Georgia in the wake of the conflict in South Ossetia. U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney said on Thursday “Georgia will be in our alliance,” amid calls in the U.S. for NATO’s eastward expansion.
“Russia will respond. A number of possibilities are being considered, including hitting America there where it hurts most — Iran,” said the Sunday Times, quoting its source.