Monday, March 19, 2007


Thats Whatcha Get For Trusting A Commie

New York Times - 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.”

“We consider this a very important decision by the Russians,” a senior European official said. “It shows that our disagreements with the Russians about the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program are tactical. Fundamentally, the Russians don’t want a nuclear Iran.”

In a flurry of public comments in the past month, Russian officials have acknowledged that Russia is delaying the delivery of fuel to the reactor in the port city of Bushehr. The officials attributed the delay to the failure of Iran to pay what it owes, not on nuclear proliferation concerns.

But last month, Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov informed some European officials that Russia had made a political decision not to deliver the fuel, adding that Russia would state publicly that the sole reason was financial, European officials said.