Security cabinet approves new measures to fight terror after marathon session
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10.14.2015 | 1 Heshvan, 5776
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations
Iranians push for Palestinian resistance at Jerusalem Day rally in Tehran
IAEA asks for 1 million euros to oversee Iran nuclear deal extension
US reviewing extension of Iran diplomacy after ‘tangible progress’
Deadline looming, US engages Iran in unprecedented direct talks
Sanctions law poses obstacle in final diplomatic push with Iran
US will ask Iran to 'cease and desist' rocket shipments to Gaza
Congress suggests nuclear deal with Iran not sufficient without grand bargain
Ayatollah Khamenei calls for Iran to raise uranium enrichment capacity
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Israel should ensure West ‘keeps eyes open’ on Iran
Iran's Arak heavy water reactor 370.
DUBAI - Iran will pursue construction at the Arak heavy-water reactor, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was quoted as saying on Wednesday, despite a deal with world powers to shelve a project they fear could yield plutonium for atomic bombs.France, one of the six powers that negotiated Sunday's interim pact with Iran to curb its disputed nuclear program, said in response to Zarif's statement that Tehran had to keep to what was agreed in the Geneva talks.The uncompleted research reactor emerged as one of several big stumbling blocks in the marathon negotiations, in which Iran agreed to restrain its atomic activities for six months in return for limited sanctions relief. The agreement is intended to buy time for talks on a final settlement of the dispute.Western powers fear Arak could be a source of plutonium - one of two materials, along with highly enriched uranium, that can be used for the core of a nuclear weapon - once it is operational. Iran says it would produce medical isotopes only.According to the agreed text, Iran said it would not make "any further advances of its activities" on the Arak reactor, under construction near a western Iranian town with that name."Capacity at the Arak site is not going to increase. It means no new nuclear fuel will be produced and no new installations will be installed, but construction will continue there," Zarif told parliament in translated comments broadcast on Iran's Press TV.When asked about this, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said: "In the interim accord, the Arak reactor is specifically targeted and the end of all work at this reactor. In the agreement and the text, which has been approved by the Iranian authorities, the Arak reactor is clearly targeted."Nuclear expert Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment think-tank said Zarif's statement seemed to be an attempt to reassure anti-Western hardliners in Iran that the Arak project will survive diplomacy with the powers."It doesn't matter whether Iran is doing excavation work or civil construction work around the reactor," Hibbs said."What matters for now is that there is no fuel production and testing, that there is no installation at the reactor. Freezing much more than that might be seen by hardliners as total suspension of the project and therefore unacceptable."Other experts have said that an apparent loophole in the Geneva agreement could allow Iran to build components off-site to install later in the reactor."The agreement is silent on the manufacturing of remaining key components of the reactor and its continued heavy-water production," former chief UN nuclear inspector Olli Heinonen wrote in an analysis."Technically, such efforts are not reasonable if the goal is either to dismantle the reactor or modify it to a more proliferation-resistant, smaller light-water reactor as one of the alternative paths of producing isotopes for medical and industrial purposes," he said.
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