MOSCOW – The Russian state-run company building Iran's first atomic power plant said Monday that Tehran has made its first payment toward the long-delayed construction of Bushehr plant since a dispute over financing halted construction.
"The fact that our Iranian partners have overcome their difficulties is positive," Atomstroiexport said in a statement, adding however that the payment was "still far" from full compensation for the Bushehr project.
Moscow and Tehran have been at loggerheads over financing of the plant and Russia earlier this month said that nuclear fuel would not be supplied this month, as had been planned. The delays prompted Russia, which is building the plant in Iran, to indefinitely postpone the reactor's launch, set for September.
Iran, meanwhile, angrily denied falling behind with payments and accused Russia of caving in to U.S. pressure to take a tougher line on Tehran.
The funding dispute came as members of the U.N. Security Council, including Russia, on Saturday unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on Iran, including the banning of Iranian arms exports and the freezing of assets of 28 people and organizations involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
Iran rejected the sanctions and later announced a partial suspension of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.