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Tehran Prepares to Halt Nuclear Pacts in Arak Reactor

Tehran Prepares to Halt Nuclear Pacts in Arak Reactor

Monday, 17 June, 2019 - 12:15

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said it will outline its plans on Monday at a showpiece event at Iran’s heavy water nuclear facility in Arak, Markazi Province.

This announcement was made one day after President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran has decided to reduce its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal in response to US “lawlessness.”

“Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization at the Arak heavy water site will announce preparatory steps that have been taken to further decrease Tehran’s commitments under the deal,” official media sited a statement by AEOI.

The statement added that it will announce steps to increase the stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water production in Arak.

Last week, media quoted AEOI as announcing that it will open Arak facility to hold a press conference in the presence of officials in the nuclear file during which it will reveal the steps Iran threatened to take in May.

In mid-May, Iran announced it would scrap two of its commitments dealing with the shipment of enriched uranium and heavy water.

On May 20, AEOI Spokesman Bahrouz Kamalvendi addressed reporters at Natanz nuclear facility along with an unidentified nuclear scientist, who wore a surgical cap and a mask, and announced plans to quadruple production capacity of enriched uranium to 3.67 percent – within the limits of the 2015 nuclear deal and well below the quality needed to develop nuclear weapons.

Under the agreement, Iran agreed to disarm the Arak reactor, preventing the production of plutonium, a location which Western countries fear could produce materials used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

During nuclear talks in 2014, AEOI Chief Ali Akbar Salehi suggested cutting plutonium production.

This opened the door to a settlement on Arak reactor at a time when it was one of the most difficult issues in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the other parties.

Arak reactor was one of the secret sites not reported by Iran and was detected by satellite images from the US-based Institute for Science and International Security in December 2002.

However, Iranian authorities didn’t allow IAEA inspectors to enter the site before August 2011, and it stopped operations in 2014.

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