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Iran to start cold testing Arak nuclear reactor

Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]
Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, 6 December 2020 [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran will begin cold testing its restored Arak nuclear reactor ahead of its full inauguration on the Iranian new year on Sunday, Reuters reported on Friday.

Quoting the Spokesperson for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation Behrouz Kamalvandi, Reuters confirmed that cold testing usually includes the initial startup of fluid systems and support systems.

"In other words, we have advanced work in the field of fuel and storage," Reuters reported Kamalvandi stating.

Iran and the US, along with major world powers, reached a deal in 2015 to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the US lifting its sanctions imposed on Tehran.

However, in 2018, former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, imposing punishing sanctions on Iran.

READ: Swedish scientist near death after months in solitary confinement in Iran, say UN experts

New US President Joe Biden and his administration have repeatedly indicated that they will return to the deal if Tehran first returns to compliance, but Iran insists that the US must first return to the deal's terms.

Based on the deal, Iran has agreed to shut down the reactor at Arak. However, it was allowed to produce a limited amount of heavy water for medical and agricultural uses.

Israel has been lobbying against the US administration's desire to return to the deal, the Times of Israel has reported.

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