Iran

Iran will not convert Arak heavy water reactor: AEOI chief

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Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says Arak nuclear facility will remain a heavy water reactor, but will be redesigned to produce less plutonium.

“This [Arak nuclear] reactor will be redesigned to produce lesser amounts of plutonium, but it will remain a heavy water reactor,” Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters on Saturday.

He added that construction of the reactor will be completed within the next two or three years.

Arak heavy water reactor is among issues discussed in negotiations between Iran and the six major powers aimed at reaching a final comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

The Iranian official also rejected Western claims that the Islamic Republic should dismantle its ballistic missiles as part of a final deal over its nuclear energy program.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain – plus Germany have been holding talks to resolve the dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.

The two sides sealed an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013, to pave the way for the full resolution of the decade-old dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program. The deal came into force on January 20.

Iran has made it clear that its defense capabilities would not be part of the nuclear talks with the six world powers, saying the country’s defense might is non-negotiable.

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