Tehran, Beijing to sign 1st Arak reactor redesign contract, China confirms

Tasnim – China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that Tehran and Beijing will soon sign the first commercial contract to redesign a nuclear plant in southern Iran as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

Chinese Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the contract for the plant’s redesign would be signed on Sunday in Vienna with initial agreements having already been reached in Beijing, describing it as an important part of the Iran nuclear deal.

“The signing of this contract will create good conditions for substantively starting the redesign project,” Lu added, according to Reuters.

Lu further said that China hopes all parties could ensure the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was implemented, appropriately handle disagreements and make positive contributions to nuclear non-proliferation and peace and stability in the Middle East.

The remarks came after Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the contract with China to modernize the Arak reactor is going to be finalized in Vienna within the next week.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached a conclusion on the JCPOA in July 2015 and started to implement it in January 2016.

According to the JCPOA, “Iran will redesign and rebuild a modernized heavy water research reactor in Arak, based on an agreed conceptual design, using fuel enriched up to 3.67 %, in a form of an international partnership which will certify the final design.”

In November 2015, the document on redesigning the heavy water reactor was signed by all parties to the JCPOA.