TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi reiterated that Iran is not due to stop activities at its Arak heavy water reactor forever.
“Arak heavy water reactor is a source of pride for Iran,” Salehi said, addressing a ceremony commemorating the martyred Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriyari in Tehran on Saturday.
He stressed that ignoring Arak heavy water reactor would be tantamount to quitting uranium enrichment right.
“If they wish us not to have such a reactor, this means that they have never been willing to see our nuclear case go back on normal track,” Salehi said.
Addressing certain western states, the AEOI chief said, “If you want to deprive us of a right, you should know that our Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) has set the red line and we will not relinquish any right, enshrined in the NPT.”
Salehi pointed to the claims made by some western officials that Arak heavy water reactor should stop operation, because it is a source of plutonium production which can be used for atomic bomb production, and said, “The weapon graded plutonium should be free of any toxic materials, whereas Arak reactor does not produce such a kind of plutonium.”
Last week, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined that there has not been any plutonium production line in the Arak heavy water reactor.
Commenting on reports on the halt of Iran’s program to produce plutonium, Araqchi told reporters in Geneva, “We have had no plan to produce plutonium.”
Commenting on claims about production of plutonium in Arak facilities, he said, “The facility has not been operational yet to produce plutonium.”
He stressed that the AEOI had previously announced that the coming into operation of the Arak reactor has been suspended.
On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) reached a final agreement, which includes recognition of Tehran’s right of uranium enrichment and removal and easing of the sanctions.
Iran and the Group signed a four-page agreement after five days of difficult and intensive negotiations and more than a decade-long nuclear standoff.
One of the pages of the agreement signed in Geneva deals with the easing and removal of the US-led western sanctions imposed against Iran.
According to the deal, no further sanctions will be imposed against Iran.
Oil embargos on the country will be halted. Iran’s crude sales will be maintained at the current level and Iran’s oil revenues will also be released.
Sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical sector will be completely removed and the sanctions on the country’s auto industry will also be lifted.
Sanctions on exports of gold and precious stones and metals, as well as the ban on the insurance of oil cargos will be fully lifted.
Iran’s right to enrichment has been recognized in two places of the document.
According to the agreement, the structure of Iran’s nuclear program will be fully preserved. There is no turning back in Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.
Fordo and Natanz (nuclear sites) will also continue operation.
In return, Iran will reciprocate with a series of confidence-building measures.
Iran as a confidence-building measure will not further expand its activities in Arak, Natanz and Fordo in the next six months, but (uranium) enrichment below five percent and production of the relevant enriched material in Fordo and Natanz will continue as before.
Iran will also continue its research and development in its nuclear program.
According to the agreement, the 20 percent enrichment will not continue in the next six months since Iran does not need any more 20-percent enriched fuel for its Tehran research reactor. All the enriched uranium will remain inside Iran and no material will be taken out from the country.
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