Iran's AEOI: Arak Heavy Water Reactor can produce 1 kg of plutonium

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 22

By Elnur Baghishov - Trend:

Iran's reconstructed Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility can produce one kg of plutonium instead of 4 kg, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said in a statement published on the Iranian Parliament’s website, Trend reports.

According to him, Chinese and American supervisors were present [within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] when Iran was working on the new design of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor, and that they approved it.

"With the American side having left Iran, the issue of oversight over Iran's nuclear activities was brought up once again," he said.

Kamalvandi said that the UK became an alternative to the US in the reconstruction of the reactor.

"The UK stated that it can fill the gap left by the US. Therefore, with the reconstruction having reached its completion, Iran presented a list of equipment needed for the facility to the UK. The EU has stated in writing that it will deliver the necessary equipment to Iran," he said.

Kamalvandi went on to say that although the UK takes appropriate steps for the provision of said equipment for the reactor, these steps are faced with impediments in the form of American pressure.

"If this continues, Iran will activate the old reactor and thereby return to previous production levels," he said.

Noting that the Western countries would not want for the country to return to its previous amounts of plutonium production, Kamalvandi said that Iran has no need for producing plutonium in such amounts in current conditions.

In January 2016, the JCPOA was implemented between Iran and the P5+1 group (the US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany) in connection with Iran's nuclear program. In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the deal and imposed sanctions against Iran in November of the same year. In order to preserve the agreements reached as part of the JCPOA, the European signatories of the deal stated in January 2019 that a financial mechanism for maintaining trade with Iran called INSTEX was formed.

Iran announced on May 8, 2019 that it had ceased fulfilling its commitments regarding the sale of over 300 kilograms of uranium, as stated in the deal, basing its decision on the other signatories having not fulfilled their obligations. Iran announced on July 7, 2019 that it will not be fulfilling its commitments regarding the enrichment of uranium at 3.67 percent and the reconstruction of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility as stated in the deal.

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