Senior negotiator: Iran to keep heavy water reactor in Arak

TEHRAN (FNA)- Senior Iranian negotiator in talks with the world powers Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined that Tehran will not discuss any change in the nature of its heavy water reactor in the Central city of Arak but will try to obviate the westerners’ concerns in this regard.

“Different solutions and options have been raised about Arak, the most important of which is what Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi has said and obviates the concerns about Arak by making some technical changes in certain parts of the reactor to reduce the amount of plutonium which may cause concern,” Araqchi told reporters on in Vienna Tuesday night, where he is due to hold talks for the next three days with representatives of the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) on compiling a comprehensive deal to settle differences over Iran’s nuclear program.

Stressing that the nature of Arak heavy water reactor won’t change at all, he said, “The power of Arak reactor won’t reduce and it will continue its predesigned path and we will possibly decrease or obviate the concerns existing about it by some changes.”

Asked about Iran’s nuclear Research and Development activities, Araqchi underlined that no limitations can be envisaged for R&D activities, adding that stopping Iran’s R&D program has never been actually demanded by the world powers in the negotiations and will never be accepted by Tehran.

Representatives from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a meeting in Tehran last Tuesday wrapped up talks over the safeguard issues related to Arak heavy water reactor.

The AEOI Safeguards Department officials and the IAEA delegation headed by chief inspector Massimo Aparo summed up the Arak heavy reactor’s safety issues.

The IAEA team arrived in Tehran Monday morning to meet with senior Iranian nuclear officials and visit the country’s nuclear facilities in accordance to the agreement signed by the IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) in November.

The UN nuclear watchdog inspectors arrived in Tehran to meet AEOI officials before traveling to Saghand uranium mine in Yazd province in Central Iran and Ardakan Yellowcake production – uranium ore concentrate processing – plant in the same province.

According to the Iranian officials, issues related to the six-paragraph and the seven-step procedural agreements signed by Iran and the IAEA were the main subject of these negotiations.

The six-paragraph agreement allows the IAEA inspectors to visit Arak heavy water plant in central Iran and Gachin mine in Bandar Abbas in a voluntary move by Iran.

The inspectors of the IAEA also visited Arak heavy water facilities in December.

On February 8, the AEOI and the IAEA released a 7-article MoU on continued cooperation in the future.

The agreement contains Iran’s voluntary cooperation untouched in the November Iran-IAEA agreement, known as the Tehran Declaration, in the form of the joint plan of action signed in late November between Iran and the G5+1. The agreement included Tehran’s voluntary cooperation in:

1-Providing (the IAEA) with administered access to Yazd’s Saghand Mine and the information agreed by the two sides,

2-Providing (the IAEA) with administered access to Ardakan enrichment facility the information agreed by the two sides,

3-Submitting updated design information questionnaire (DIQ) of Arak’s IR-40 reactor,

4-Adopting measures to materialize safeguard approach for Arak’s IR-40 reactor,

5-Arranging technical visit to Lashkarabad Laser Center and providing (the IAEA) with the information agreed by the two sides,

6-Providing source material, that has not reached the necessary composition and purity for making fuel or enrichment, including import of such material to Iran and extraction of uranium from phosphate by Iran,

7-Providing information and explanations to the IAEA to evaluate Iran’s statement on the need or application of Electron Bernstein waves (EBW) (new generation of safe fuses).

By Fars News Agency

 

The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.