The P5+1 world powers are set to help Iran redesign its Arak heavy-water reactor so that it can no longer produce weapons-grade plutonium.
The redesign is part of the nuclear deal signed with Tehran earlier this year by which Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The agreement for the redesign was signed separately this month by the foreign ministers of Iran, the US, the UK, France, Russia, China, Germany, and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, according to Reuters citing Iranian state media.
According to the document, China “will participate in the redesign and the construction of the modernized reactor,” while the US “will provide technical support and review of the modernized reactor design,” Reuters reported, whereas France, the UK and Germany will “participate in design review and Russia will provide consultative services.”
“The primary design of the Arak reactor will take one year. Then the (P5+1) working group has three months to approve it,” the spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, was quoted as telling state broadcaster IRIB.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last month that the work for the redesign could begin only once allegations on past military dimensions of the country’s nuclear program had been settled. Iran denies that it sought to build nuclear weapons.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to announce its conclusions on the past military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program by December 15, according to Reuters.