Moving Toward Commercial Nuclear Tech

Moving Toward Commercial Nuclear TechMoving Toward Commercial Nuclear Tech

Iran will be making headway toward commercialization of its nuclear program after the recent nuclear deal with major powers takes effect in the coming months, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said.

"We will proceed with our nuclear activities to enter the phase of commercializing our nuclear technology" partly to address cost-benefit considerations, Ali Akbar Salehi said.

He was speaking in a ceremony to unveil an access road to a complex at the Fordo nuclear facility on Monday.

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) reached a settlement on a 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear work on July 14.

The accord, officially titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, places temporary constraints on the nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions.

The deal says, "The initial mutually determined limitations described in this JCPOA will be followed by a gradual evolution, at a reasonable pace, of Iran's peaceful nuclear program, including its enrichment activities, to a commercial program for exclusively peaceful purposes, consistent with international non-proliferation norms."

***Plan for Privatization   

Salehi announced plans to privatize the nuclear industry in the long run and to limit the government's role to provision of security, IRNA reported.

Describing the Fordo site as a "symbol of honor and resistance," he said gains achieved in the negotiations regarding the Fordo facility "have guaranteed our established right to nuclear enrichment."

"Fordo is considered the emblem of our political independence."

Under the deal, the Fordo facility will be converted into a "nuclear, physics, and technology" center, the AEOI chief added.

In another development, deputy foreign ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi attended a meeting of the Majlis special commission on the nuclear deal.

Addressing the lawmakers, Araqchi provided an account of the history of nuclear negotiations.

Initially, western powers insisted on full suspension of the nuclear program as a precondition for any agreement, but they had to drop their demand in the face of Iran's resistance, Araqchi said.

"The Americans and their allies were aware that Iran would not cave in to sanctions and threat and it would get stronger."

"We negotiated from a position of strength, adopting an offensive strategy," the senior nuclear negotiator was quoted by ISNA as saying.  

He reiterated Iran's stance concerning missile and weapons bans imposed under a UN resolution adopted in the wake of the accord to endorse it, saying they are deemed unbinding.

"The JCPOA states that if its terms are violated (by Tehran), sanctions will be reinstated. But a breach of the resolution would not restore sanctions."