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Chinese, Iranian firms to sign first nuclear plant redesign contracts

BEIJING - Companies from China and Iran will this weekend sign the first commercial contracts to redesign an Iranian nuclear plant as part of an international deal reached in 2015 over Iran's nuclear program, China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The fate of the Arak reactor in central Iran was one of the toughest sticking points in the long nuclear negotiations that led to the agreement, signed by Iran with the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.
In the redesign, the heavy water reactor will be reconfigured so it cannot yield fissile plutonium usable in a nuclear bomb.
Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the contracts for the plant's redesign would be signed on Sunday in Vienna with initial agreements having already been reached in Beijing, describing it as an important part of the Iran nuclear deal.
China and the United States are joint heads of the working group on the Arak project, and progress has been smooth, Lu told a daily news briefing.
"The signing of this contract will create good conditions for substantively starting the redesign project," Lu said.
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