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Russia Delays Iranian Nuclear Reactor's Operation - 2003-10-13

Russian officials say they may put off the start-up of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant because of delays in obtaining needed equipment.

An official at Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy says the new schedule calls for putting the reactor in operation in 2005, instead of 2004.

Russia has been helping Iran build the plant, but has been under pressure to withdraw from the project because of concerns Iran might use the reactor to develop nuclear weapons.

Moscow has said it will not provide the nuclear fuel for the reactor until Tehran signs an agreement to return the used nuclear material to Russia for reprocessing.