Sunday, August 22, 2004

More Iran News

This is breaking news of sorts, but Iran has just contracted with Russia to build more nuclear reactors. This severely complicates diplomatic solutions currently sought by the United States and European Union.

BRUSHING aside US accusations that it wants to build atomic weapons, Iran said today it has contracted Russia to build more nuclear power plants, while claiming two European countries have also expressed interest in helping construct similar facilities.

Russia is rebuilding Iran's first nuclear reactor, which was begun by West Germany but interrupted during the 1979 Islamic revolution. Damage caused to the facility in Bushehr, a coastal town in southern Iran, during the 1980-88 war with Iraq also led to its inauguration being postponed from last year to August 2006.

Despite the delays and the project's $US800 million ($1.1 billion) cost, Iranian nuclear officials say they want Russia to build more nuclear reactors to help generate greater amounts of electricity.

"We have contracts with Russia to build more nuclear reactors. No number has been specified, but definitely our contract with Russia is to build more than one nuclear power plant," Asadollah Sabouri, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran in charge of nuclear power plants, told reporters.
Upon reading this, I can't help but wonder what the hell Vladimir Putin is thinking? With tensions between Iran and Israel at a fever pitch, what does Russia get by this? Well, yes, money of course. But Putin has to realize that this development could concievably bring Russia in the middle of an explosive situation. Apparently, Iran has now delayed opening its Bushehr nuclear reactor until at least 2006. This was done presumably to try and get Israel not to attack the reactor (remember, Israel waited until Saddam turned the Osirak reactor online, before the air raid was ordered).

The situation is still developing at this hour.

UPDATE: Styguis comments here.