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China, Iran sign contract to redesign nuclear reactor

Image of nuclear reactors on 18 May 2012 [Peretz Partensky/Wikipedia]
Image of nuclear reactors on 18 May 2012 [Peretz Partensky/Wikipedia]

Chinese and Iranian companies are to sign the first commercial contracts to redesign Iran’s Arak heavy water nuclear reactor as part of an international agreement reached in 2015, the Chinese foreign ministry revealed yesterday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said the accords would be signed in Vienna on Sunday, with initial agreements having already been reached in Beijing. He described the agreement as an important part of Iran’s nuclear deal.

Read: Rouhani says Iran needs “no one’s permission” to build missiles

Lu added that China and the United States are joint heads of the working group on the Arak project and progress has been smooth.

“The signing of this contract will create good conditions for substantively starting the redesign project,” he said.

Provocations

Iran says the 40 megawatt Arak reactor is intended to produce isotopes for cancer and other medical treatments.

US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has recently accused Iran of stirring provocations to destabilise countries in the Middle East as US President Donald Trump’s administration begins to review its policies toward Iran.

Tillerson said the review will not only examine Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, but will also examine its conduct in the region, which he said undermines US interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

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