Iran Denies Reports That It Followed Key Nuke Deal Obligation

Russ Read | Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

An Iranian official has denied reports that Iran fulfilled its obligation to dismantle a key nuclear reactor, per the requirements of last year’s nuclear deal.

Ali Asghar Zarian, the deputy chief of the Iranian nuclear program, took to Iranian state television Tuesday to deny reports that Iran has complied with last year’s nuclear deal by removing and filling in the core of a key nuclear reactor. Several news agencies reported Monday that Iran had successfully removed and filled in the core of the Arak nuclear facility. Many cited a report by the Fars News Agency, which has been described as Iran’s “semi-official” news agency.

Zarian also noted that is poised to sign an agreement with China to modify the reactor.

The reactor in question is known as IR-40, and is located in the Arak nuclear complex in Iran. The heavy-water reactor is capable of producing the plutonium needed to create nuclear warheads. As part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranian government is required to dismantle IR-40’s nuclear core and fill it in with concrete.

Once Iran has filled in Arak’s core and has completed various other obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s satisfaction, it will see sanctions relief from the international community.

An Iranian official speaking to Fars Monday claims that the IAEA report could come in a matter of days.

“Following the IAEA approval, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini will issue a joint statement to declare that Iran has met its end of the bargain,” said the source, “And then it will be the six world powers’ turn to comply with their undertaking and remove the sanctions.”

Today’s news follows an announcement from Iranian officials last week flaunting a new underground “missile city.”(RELATED: Iran Brags About New Underground ‘Missile City’)

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Tags : defense iran iran nuclear agreement middle east
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