Transforming the Iranian Arak Nuclear Reactor
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
November 23, 2015
We welcome the release yesterday of the document outlining the expected roles by all of the participants to the JCPOA in regard to the redesign and reconstruction of Iran's Arak nuclear reactor. Secretary Kerry signed the document, along with the other foreign ministers from the P5+1 and Iran, as well as the EU High Representative.
This document is an important step towards operationalizing Iran's commitments under the JCPOA regarding the Arak reactor, and is one of many that Iran is completing before Implementation Day. That will occur when the IAEA verifies that Iran has completed all of the required nuclear steps specified in the text of the JCPOA.
This project will redesign and reconstruct the Arak reactor in a way that addresses our proliferation concerns and cuts off the plutonium pathway to enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. The document released yesterday also lays out a framework for the participants to carry out this technical project, including the expected roles to be played by the participants.
In this document, the United States has committed to provide technical support and review of the modernized reactor design, as well as analysis of fuel design and safety standards–consistent with national laws–to ensure it addresses our proliferation concerns and conforms with the design set forth in the JCPOA. In addition, the United States will co-chair with China a Working Group on the Arak project.
The United States remains committed to continuing to work closely with the EU and our P5+1 partners, along with the IAEA, in ensuring that Iran meets and sustains its JCPOA commitments.
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