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Major concessions allow Iran to keep all nuke sites, reports claim

As details of deal emerge, Iranian news station claims Tehran will be able to keep heavy water reactor running, sell enriched uranium

Iran will be able to keep all of its nuclear sites in place while world powers lift crippling sanctions on the country under a watershed pact reached Tuesday, an Iranian news site reported as details of the agreement began to emerge.

At the same time, the head of the UN atomic watchdog said he had signed a “roadmap” with Iran for probing suspected efforts to develop nuclear weapons, a key part of an overall accord.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said he aimed to issue a report on the watchdog’s investigation by December 15.

The landmark deal is expected to sharply curb Iran‘s nuclear program and impose strict UN inspections in order to make any drive to make nuclear weapons all but impossible and easily detectable.

But reports from Iranian news sites – unsubstantiated so far – painted a picture of major concessions regarding the country’s nuclear program.

The reports were likely intended to show the strongest possible position for Iran, where there are fears hard-liners could attempt to stymie the deal.

According to Press TV, a semi-official news agency owned by the Iranian regime, the Arak heavy water reactor will remain intact and be modernized and equipped with the “latest technology,” while the country’s nuclear infrastructure and research and development on advanced centrifuges will continue.

The country will continue “research & development on advanced centrifuges” and will be allowed to continue enriching uranium, according to a Press TV tweet.

The closure of Arak had once been considered a major demand by Western powers negotiating the deal. Instead, according to the Iranian report, Tehran will be recognized as a producer of enriched uranium and heavy water in global markets.

“Billions” of dollars of Iran’s blocked revenues will be unfrozen and a ban on Iranian students studying abroad in nuclear-related fields will be fully removed, according to the Iranian reports.

Reports also indicated an arms embargo on Iran would be partially lifted, allowing for some defensive imports and exports, which would then be fully removed in five years. Missile trade would be banned for eight years.

Tehran will receive “facilitated access in trade, technology, financial, energy fields,” and bans on the country’s central bank, shipping, oil industry, and many other companies will be removed, according to Press TV

When the implementation of the deal begins, economic and financial sanctions imposed by the US and EU will be lifted, the station reported.

An EU official said the sanctions could be lifted as early as 2016.

According to the interim agreement dating from 2013, world powers will recognize Iran’s “peaceful nuclear program” and the country will be offered cooperation in building nuclear power plants and research reactors.

AFP contributed to this report.

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