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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA board to make decision on Arak heavy water reactor

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Vienna, Nov 22, IRNA
The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will make decision on Iranian demand for safety aid for Arak heavy water reactor on Thursday.

Commenting on the split created between the Western and developing member states of the 35-nation board in their technical meeting yesterday, a western diplomat said, "We should wait and see whether the board's chairman, Ernest Petric, will be able to make a compromise among the two parties."

Many of the board's member states, including those who are members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) such as Russia and China, have said they agreed with Iran's request for agency expertise to ensure the Arak heavy water reactor under construction meets IAEA safety standards.

However, Western states such as US, Australia, Canada and members of the European Union, said that the Arak reactor should be blocked regardless of its application to produce isotopes to fight cancer.

Meanwhile, IAEA Deputy Director General Anna Maria Cetto said on Monday that Arak reactor for which Iran demanded technical assistance from the UN nuclear agency do not pose a proliferation threat.

She told the meeting of Board of Governors of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reviewing Iranian demand for expertise from the agency that all Iranian projects are in conformity with the relevant Security Council resolution and "specifically these projects do not contribute to enrichment-related or reprocessing activities in Iran." Iranian Ambassador to IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said on Monday that technical cooperation between Iran and the UN agency would serve close cooperation and to prove transparency of Iranian nuclear program.

"They do not know physics. They want to block the reactor producing isotopes for hospitals," Soltanieh said.

Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC)Ali Larijani said that Iran has never left IAEA letter for inspection unanswered.

"Iran has always given positive response to IAEA seeking inspection for all nuclear sites," he said reaffirming Iranian commitment to Safeguards Agreement of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).


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