MOSCOW, November 16 (RIA Novosti) - Iran's first nuclear power plant, developed by Russia in Bushehr, will not be launched this year as planned, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Monday.
"We expect major results by the end of the year, but the launch will not take place," Shmatko said citing technical reasons.
Shmatko said earlier the $1 billion plant in southern Iran would be launched in 2009.
Russia has frequently delayed the launch of the plant in the Islamic Republic, citing financial or technical problems. Iran is in the center of an international dispute over its nuclear ambitions and subject to UN sanctions.
However, Shmatko said that "Russia is committed to its obligations to Iran."
Russia completed nuclear fuel deliveries for Bushehr in January 2009, a process usually carried out six months before the launch of an atomic power plant.