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. Russia completes nuclear fuel delivery to Iran: report
TEHRAN, Jan 28 (AFP) Jan 28, 2008
Russia has completed delivering fuel for Iran's first nuclear power plant in the Gulf port of Bushehr on Monday, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"With the last consignment, Russia has fully delivered the 82 tonnes of fuel enriched by 1.6 to 3.6 percents along with the supplementary equipment," said a statement from Iran's Organisation for Production and Development of Nuclear Energy.

Monday's delivery was the eighth consignment of fuel, which Russia began delivering on December 17.

Late last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the Bushehr reactor would be working at 50 percent capacity by mid-2008.

However the Russian constructors insist that the 1,000-megawatt plant will not go on line until the end of the year.

After delivering the first shipment of fuel, Russia said Iran no longer needed to pursue its own uranium enrichment, a message repeated by US President George W. Bush.

But Tehran insists it has a right to enrich uranium and has defied successive UN calls to halt the controversial work, prompting two sets of UN Security Council sanctions.

The Western powers fear that Iran could use uranium enrichment, which can also make the fissile core of an atom bomb, for military purposes. Iran denies the charges and says it only wants to meet the country's growing energy needs.

Foreign ministers of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany agreed on a new set of sanctions last week. The UN Security Council is due to discuss them Monday.

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