Russia Touts Beginning of Iran Nuclear Plant Launch

IAEA Inspectors Will Control Physical Launch

Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko today lauded the pending launch of the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, calling it an “event of crucial importance” and insisting that it proved, despite a number of delays, that “Russia always fulfills its obligations.”

The planned Saturday introduction of fuel into the Bushehr plant has been a major topic of discussion, with former US envoy John Bolton suggesting the day amounted to a deadline before which Israel had to launch a military strike on the reactor. Attacking the plant once nuclear fuel is introduced would mean irradiating the surrounding area.

The plant will be the first of what Iran hopes will be a number of nuclear power plants across its nations, providing for Iran’s growing domestic electricity demands without requiring them to dip into their lucrative oil export market.

But while any progress in Iran’s nuclear program inevitably gets spun as some sort of threat, the physical launch of the Bushehr plant will be under the control of IAEA inspectors. The plant, as with the rest of Iran’s civilian program, remains under IAEA oversight.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.