German customs officials stopped a shipment of parts destined for delivery to an Iranian nuclear-power plant via Russia, according to people familiar with the matter.
The parts, which were bought more than a month ago in Germany, include items that the European Union prohibits shipping without a special license because they can be used for installation in a nuclear facility as well as for other, nonsensitive purposes.
Russian diplomats reacted with anger to the seizure, arguing that Russia is permitted to assist Iran in the construction of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, according to a person familiar with the discussion.
Neither the building of the light-water reactor nor the procurement of its parts are prohibited by existing United Nations sanctions against Iran.
A spokesman for the German foreign ministry declined to commenton Wednesday. A spokesman at Russia's mission to the U.N. in New York said he had no comment on any aspect of the case.
The dispute between German and Russian diplomats resulting from the shipments' being stopped had threatened to delay approval of the package of U.N. sanctions under discussion among Germany, Russia, China, France, the U.K. and the U.S. The six nations ultimately resolved their difference and presented a compromise draft resolution on Tuesday. It calls for an embargo on the sale of eight types of heavy conventional weapons to Iran; increased voluntary financial sanctions against Iranian banks; an... >>>
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