Iran says Arak reactor 1 step closer to completion

Ahmadinejad on site to witness upper container installation at facility suspected of housing covert nuclear activities.

June 9, 2013 17:49
1 minute read.
Arak heavy water reactor

Arak heavy water reactor 370. (photo credit: reuters)

A heavy water reactor in Arak, Iran, came one step closer to completion after the installation of the “upper container,” according to a report by the Fars News Agency, a news site associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

“Arak heavy water reactor will receive virtual fuel by the end of the [Iranian] year 1392 [March 2014],” said Fereidoun Abbasi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Abbasi made his comments during a ceremony celebrating the new installation, attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In May, US diplomat Joseph Macmanus, who serves as the ambassador to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, called the creation of the Arak reactor “deeply troubling.”

He questioned Iran’s refusal to “provide the requisite design information,” which the IAEA said the Islamic Republic must pass on in order to properly monitor the site.

In response, Iran’s ambassador told reporters that Tehran had every intention of continuing with plans to build the reactor regardless of international pressure to delay further building.

“We will not yield to pressure, sanctions, threats of attack,” Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said.

Though Iran has repeatedly asserted that their reactors are being built for energy purposes, Macmanus challenged this declaration and said, “Iran’s refusal to fulfill this basic obligation [of providing design information] must necessarily cause one to ask whether Iran is again pursuing covert nuclear activities.”

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