Iran will not shut down Arak heavy water plant: MP

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An Iranian legislator says Iran’s Arak heavy water plant is used for medical and research purposes and Tehran will not dismantle it under any circumstances.

“[The United States of] America and the Westerners cannot make any claims against Arak heavy water (plant) since the facility will not be shut down at all,” Mohammad Hassan Asafari, who sits on the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Sunday.

He added that certain countries are seeking to challenge Iran’s nuclear energy program by adopting improper stances, stressing that the Islamic Republic should not allow such obstructionist efforts to bear fruit.

“We believe that the nuclear issue is of great importance and significance, and we all should try to develop this indigenized industry,” Asafari said.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV on February 3, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Arak heavy water reactor is a “research reactor” and “is used to do research in areas of science and technology.”

The Iranian nuclear chief further noted that the Islamic Republic had already reported its “peaceful nuclear activities” at Arak heavy water plant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran and the UN nuclear body signed an agreement in November 2013 to outline a roadmap for bilateral cooperation on certain outstanding issues. Under the deal, Iran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow IAEA inspectors to visit Arak heavy water plant and Gachin uranium mine.

The UN nuclear agency’s inspectors visited Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013, as the first step to be implemented under the Iran-IAEA agreement.

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