Tehran resumes payments over Bushehr nuclear plant

Iran has resumed payments to Russia for work at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The move comes just days after the UN Security Council voted to tighten sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

The payments have been suspended since January this year, and although the latest payment doesn't clear all outstanding debts, it does mean full work will continue for the time being.

It comes just days after the UN Security Council voted to tighten sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme – a move rejected by Tehran. The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was illegitimate and “stemmed from the hostility of some powers against Iran”. He added new sanctions wouldn't stop Iran from continuing its peaceful uranium enrichment programme “even for a second”. Tehran also said it would limit co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Meanwhile implications by Iran that Russia's used it UN vote to apply pressure over the payments issue's being vigorously denied by Moscow.

“It is very unfortunate that Iran's leadership is taking the bilateral discussions with Russia on to a public plain. I believe that Russia's voting over the Iran resolution which was in line with all 14 other Security Council members was no surprise for Tehran. And many times and on various levels we have warned our Iranian partners and friends they are playing with fire,” said Sergey Novikov, Rosatom's Spokesman.

With Iran having paid for just two weeks worth of work at Bushehr, the issue is set to return sooner rather than later.