Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19
By Fatih Karimov- Trend:
A basic deal is expected to be signed Dec. 21 for removing the core of Arak heavy water reactor, said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).
"Once the agreement is signed, Tehran will start the preliminary actions for removing the reactor's core," Iran's official IRIB news agency quoted Salehi as saying Dec. 19.
Salehi recalled that earlier three documents have been signed on the issue, including a document to redesign the reactor inked by foreign ministers of Iran, the P5+1 (the US, the UK, China, Russia, France and Germany), and the EU's foreign policy chief.
He also said Iran will fulfil its commitments under the nuclear deal, including the Arak reactor's core removal within next two to three weeks.
"Iran will also decrease its active centrifuges to 6,000 under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) within the mentioned period," the official said.
"So, the P5+1 is expected to remove the sanctions based on the JCPOA early in January 2016," Salehi forecasted.
Under the JCPOA, clinched last July, Iran should redesign and rebuild a modernized heavy water research reactor in Arak in order to avoid the production of weapons-grade plutonium.
Earlier, Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi said the reactor will be redesigned and rebuilt within five years.
"One year has been considered for redesigning and three to four years have been allocated for rebuilding," according to Araqchi.
Salehi said on Dec. 16 that Iran, China and the US have formed a special working group to modernize the reactor.
Iran will manage the modernization project, while other countries can also join the working group, he noted.