Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
The issue of re-installing of Arak heavy-water reactor's core has almost been settled with P5+1, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization's Head Ali Akbar Salehi said.
In an interview with Al-Alam TV channel, Salehi said that Iran proposed P5+1 to re-install the core of the reactor, and the proposal was accepted by the other side, IRIB news agency reported.
The Arak heavy water reactor if operating optimally would produce about nine kilograms of plutonium annually or enough for two nuclear weapons each year.
The U.S. and the EU are concerned that the heavy water reactor could be used to produce plutonium, which can be used to fuel a nuclear weapon as an alternative to highly enriched uranium.
Iran says its atomic program is peaceful and the reactor is intended to produce isotopes for cancer patients.
The Islamic Republic has agreed to suspend the installation activity at the reactor based on the Geneva nuclear deal. Since the deal, Iran has diluted 103 kilograms of its 20 percent-enriched uranium down to 5 percent.
On Jan. 16, the White House released details of implementing the nuclear deal signed by Iran and the world's six major powers. According to the statement Iran is committed not to fuel the Arak reactor or to install the remaining components there.
Additionally, Salehi has previously said that Iran can make modifications to the reactor, to produce less plutonium. He also added that the Arak-produced plutonium is not weapons-grade plutonium.
Under the interim nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group (five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) which took effect on January 20, the six major powers agreed to give Iran access to its $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas if the country fulfils the deal's terms which offer sanctions relief in exchange for steps on curbing the Iranian nuclear program.
Iran and P5+1 intend to continue their talks to reach a final agreement to fully resolve the decade-old dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program.