Arak reactor shutdown out of question: Araqchi

With Iran and the P5+1 wrapping up the first day of their fresh round of nuclear talks, a senior Iranian negotiator says the closure of Arak heavy water reactor in not on the agenda, Press TV reports.

“What we have agreed in Joint Plan of Action, is to resolve concerns attached to this heavy water reactor. So, we are going to discuss and negotiate tomorrow to come to an understanding [on] how we can address these concerns. So, shutdown is out of question,” Abbas Araqchi said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

Under an agreement reached between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency in November 2013, the IAEA inspectors visited the Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013.

The Arak reactor, which uses natural uranium to produce radio medicines, is planned to gradually replace the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical radioisotopes for cancer patients.

Saying that uranium enrichment is Tehran’s line, the Iranian diplomat, however, added that Tehran and the P5+1 could discuss the scope and the level of the process.

“The subject for negotiations is the scope and level of enrichment and [the] Joint Plan of Action says that this scope should be consistent with Iran’s practical needs.” he pointed out referring to the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 last November.

The member of the Iranian negotiating team also touched on the issue of the final agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 on the country’s nuclear energy program and noted that the interim deal will end on July 20.

He said that Iran and the P5+1 are determined to conclude a comprehensive solution before the deadline.

“There is a good intention to do the job before the 20th of July. There are obstacles in the way in terms of the difficulty of the subjects which are on the table. Each and every item in our agenda is a very difficult one and to come to a compromise or a conclusion on them would be very difficult,” Araqchi added.

“At the same time, there are obviously spoilers around; let’s say in the region, in the US, in different places who don’t like this solution be achieved and I think all sides should be very careful about them,” he concluded.

Iran and the P5+1 began their latest round of high-level nuclear talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Tuesday.

By Press TV


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