Sunday's agreement on the return of spent nuclear fuel from a Iranian power plant does not mean that Russia will immediately start delivering nuclear fuel to Iran, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"Russia will deliver nuclear fuel to Iran when the Bushehr nuclear power plant, being built with Russian assistance, is readyfor work and loading," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko was cited by the Interfax news agency as saying.
Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, signed the agreement Sunday on the return of the spent fuel from Iran's first nuclear power plant which is being built with Russia's aid on a Gulf island in the southern province of Bushehr.
Both Iran and Russia have denied Western accusations that the 800-million-dollar project could be used to develop nuclear weapons, stressing that it is being built for peaceful and civil purposes.
Russia has conditioned delivery of nuclear fuel to Iran on the accord assuring all spent fuel would be returned to Russia, in order to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons with spent fuel.
However, the repeated failures to reach such an agreement have delayed the operation of the Bushehr nuclear plant. Iran has said that the plant would become operational in October 2006, a year behind the original schedule.