US says may seek dismantling part of Arak reactor in final Iran deal

December 5, 2013 02:42

WASHINGTON - A top US diplomat suggested on Wednesday the United States may press Iran to agree to dismantle part of its Arak nuclear reactor in a comprehensive agreement to rein in Tehran's atomic program.

Under an interim deal agreed between Iran and six world powers last month, Iran is to shelve fuel production for six months at Arak, an unfinished heavy-water research reactor which Western countries say Tehran could use to produce plutonium for atomic bombs. Iran says the reactor is for medical isotopes.

A comprehensive agreement "includes a lot of dismantling of their infrastructure," Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of state for political affairs, said on PBS Newshour, speaking about a final deal with Iran.

"Because, quite frankly, we're not quite sure what you need a 40-megawatt heavy water reactor - which is what Arak is - for any civilian peaceful purpose."

Sherman was a key negotiator of the landmark nuclear deal agreed in Geneva last month.

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