If redesign of Arak reactor delayed Iran will return to previous one: Salehi

February 12, 2020 - 0:33

TEHRAN - The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said on Monday that if China does not help Iran with redesigning its Arak nuclear reactor, Tehran will restore the previous one.

“If the project, due to U.S. disruption and the Europe’s shortcoming, is not implemented (by the Chinese contractor) Iran may inevitably return to the previous design of Arak’s Khondab heavy water project,” Salehi said in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Vienna.

Salehi was in Vienna to attend an international nuclear security conference.

They further exchanged views over mutual cooperation, especially over renovation and redesigning of the Khondab reactor.

Salehi added that other signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should assist more seriously to implement the mentioned project to counter the U.S. unilateralism.

According to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, Iran is entitled to “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.

Iran and the 5+1 group (Russia, China, the U.S., Britain, France and Germany) struck the JCPOA in July 2015 and started to implement it in January 2016.

In May 2018, the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal but the remaining parties have sought to preserve it.

MJ/PA

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