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Iran, France to cooperate on nuclear fusion project

Tehran’s nuclear chief visited HQ of experimental reactor in southern France before announcing involvement

Ali Akbar Salehi (L), the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and with Hungary's Minister of External Economy and Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto give a joint press conference in Budapest on February 19, 2016. (AFP/ATTILA KISBENEDEK)
Ali Akbar Salehi (L), the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization and with Hungary's Minister of External Economy and Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto give a joint press conference in Budapest on February 19, 2016. (AFP/ATTILA KISBENEDEK)

Iran and France have agreed to cooperate on the multi-national nuclear fusion project known as ITER, the spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes a year after Iran struck a nuclear deal with six world powers led by the United States to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

Behrouz Kamalvandi told Mehr and Fars news agencies that Iranian officials have “reached a general understanding with the French side for joint cooperation” on the project.

Mehr and Fars said that Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, visited the headquarters of ITER at the end of June.

Salehi was one of Iran’s key negotiators in the nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States on July 14 last year.

ITER, which means “the way” in Latin, is the acronym for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor which is being built in the south of France.

The unique project was launched in 1985 with dozens of countries collaborating with France “on the first fusion device to produce net energy” according to ITER’s website.

It said that other project members include China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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