Arrangements to Modernize Arak Reactor

Arrangements to  Modernize Arak ReactorArrangements to  Modernize Arak Reactor

Iran, the US and China are drafting a document that, once signed by all parties to the July 14 nuclear agreement, will give the go-ahead for the launch of the Arak reactor's modernization project, the head of the Foreign Ministry's committee for implementation of the JCPOA said.

The deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, will remove sanctions in exchange for temporary constraints on Tehran's nuclear program.

The Joint Commission comprised of representatives from all parties to the JCPOA, tasked with monitoring it and addressing the issues arising from its implementation, convened its first meeting in Vienna on Monday.

The day before marked Adoption Day, when the US, the EU and Iran announced a series of measures in compliance with the action plan to advance preparations for the international accord to go into effect on Implementation Day.

Removing the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor is among the measures Iran agreed to complete to ultimately convince the UN nuclear agency to verify Tehran's compliance with its commitments, which is a precondition for the announcement of Implementation Day and the lifting of sanctions.

On Adoption Day, Iran, China and the US released a joint statement on their cooperation to help redesign and reconstruct the Arak reactor, as contemplated in the JCPOA.

The three countries are represented by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the China Atomic Energy Authority and the US Department of Energy.

"Apart from [the statement], what is of importance to us is an official document to be signed by Iran and all members of the P5+1 [the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany]. The document has been drafted by experts and after it is finalized and signed by foreign ministers of the parties to the JCPOA, work will commence on the Arak project," Abbas Araqchi was quoted by IRNA as telling reporters after the Monday meeting.

According to the statement carried by the DOE website, pursuant to the deal, Iran will take "the leadership role as the owner of and … manager for" the project, with support from other JCPOA participants.

The P5+1 is to set up a working group before Implementation Day to assume their respective roles in the project, the statement said, adding that the CAEA and the DOE have undertaken to convene and co-chair the group, with the CAEA acting as the primary liaison on behalf of the working group for communications and coordination with the AEOI.