TEHRAN (FNA)- It was the center of a lot of dispute between Iran and the West, even threatening to derail last year’s delicate nuclear talks in Vienna.
Now as the last step needed to fully implement its obligations under the landmark nuclear deal, Tehran has removed the core from its Arak Heavy Water Reactor and filled it with cement, rendering it useless. An informed source has told Fars News Agency that the core was taken out on Monday, January 11. According to the source, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will confirm the operation in the next few days in its final report on Iran. Few points need to be reminded in this latest development:
* The disablement of the Arak reactor was among the most difficult issues resolved with the agreement, which will relieve sanctions against Iran in exchange for its verifiable guarantees of peaceful nuclear work. It was also the last step needed from Iran to fully implement its obligations. The country has now met its end of the bargain. Repeat, Tehran has fulfilled its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
* It is now the sextet’s (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) turn to comply with their obligations and remove the sanctions regime altogether. It is pretty much evident that their economic warfare was and still is short of scientific, technical, legal or justified virtues, and only backed by the UN member states under immense pressure and coercion from the War Party in Washington. Given the rotting business situation in Europe and America, the economic warfare didn’t work and Iran didn’t buckle. It was ineffective, unnecessary and counter-productive.
* The Arak facility was a sticking point during the Vienna talks. Objections over Iran’s enrichment of uranium led to the plan for Arak, which was to run on unenriched uranium, as an alternative source of medical isotopes. The United States and its NATO allies claimed the waste the reactor would produce included plutonium. Ultimately they agreed that Iran reconfigure and redesign the reactor followed by their aid and assistance in its construction. Well, they should now go ahead and do just that.
* Tehran has also reduced the number of its operating centrifuges, shipped a major portion of its enriched uranium stockpile to Russia, and even allowed 24/7 inspections of all its nuclear facilities by the IAEA. It is now the UN nuclear watchdog’s turn to also comply with its undertaking and issue certification that Tehran has met its obligations.
What all this seems to confirm is that the world now awaits “Implementation Day” when the IAEA verifies that Tehran has met its nuclear commitments and the West takes steps to lift its economic and financial bans. Tehran has raced to finalize its obligations earlier than expected – despite mild violations and posturing by the Americans. The pace of Tehran’s progress was quicker than the sextet expected, and comes as a sign that it is eager to see the landmark deal through.
It is said, one good turn deserves another. It would befit Washington and its NATO allies well, therefore, to realise that economic sanctions again on Iran will have a self-defeating impact. Likewise, it is critical for Washington to play a very mature and enabling role in seeing the deal through, and not make a repeat of its past mistakes. As it turned out, the oppressive tactics generated a great deal of resentment on the world stage. Their aim was too low, and they still missed it.