Iran's nuclear chief: IAEA inspectors do not take samples of Arak heavy-water reactor

Photo: Iran's nuclear chief: IAEA inspectors do not take samples of Arak heavy-water reactor / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 12

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors did not take samples from Arak heavy-water production plant, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi said, ISNA news agency reported on Dec. 12.

Salehi did not mention if the inspectors were not permitted or they did not request to obtain samples.

"They only visited the plant." Salehi said.

Uranium enrichment is Iran's inalienable right, the nuclear chief said, adding that the Islamic Republic continues all aspects of its peaceful nuclear program within the framework of national interests.

On Dec 8, the inspectors from the IAEA visited Iran's Arak heavy water production plant for the first time in more than two years.

The visit realized within the framework of a mid-November agreement signed between Tehran and the IAEA.

Under the deal, Tehran on a voluntary basis, allows IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water production facility in the central city of Arak as well as the Gachin uranium mine near the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.

The visit also came two weeks after a six-month interim agreement which was signed On November 24 between Iran and world powers over the country's nuclear program.

Iran has agreed to curb some nuclear activities for six months in return for sanctions relief. It has promised not to commission or fuel the Arak reactor during that time.

The Arak heavy water production plant is designed to supply a research reactor under construction nearby.

The Arak reactor is significant because if completed, it could open the way for the reprocessing of plutonium - a potential step towards a nuclear weapon.

The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical research instead.

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