"Arak reactor should remain in place and work with a heavy water reactor (technology)," Chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said in an interview with the parliament's news website today.
Referring to the remarks recently made by Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi that Iran is ready to change Arak reactor's structure to reduce the production of plutonium, he said the Tehran research reactor is passing its last days of its life and needs a substitute both for research and scientific work and for supplying the needed drugs for refractory diseases.
Meantime, Boroujerdi underlined that finding a substitute for Tehran research reactor doesn’t mean its closure, rather it means that the old reactor needs a complement.
The Iranian officials had earlier announced that launching the heavy water reactor in the Central city of Arak is among Iran’s redlines, adding that the installations are under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA inspectors visited Arak heavy water reactor in December. During their visit to Iran, the IAEA inspectors held a meeting with the officials of the AEOI and then visited Arak heavy water installations.
Before the IAEA started its visits to the Arak Reactor, the AEOI announced in a statement that "the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a sign of goodwill to remove any possible ambiguity about the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, has given a positive response to the request made by the IAEA to visit the plant".
In mid-November, Director-General of the IAEA Yukiya Amano and Salehi signed a joint statement which presented a roadmap for future cooperation to resolve the remaining issues between the two sides.
According to the statement, the IAEA and Iran agreed on November 11, 2013 to strengthen their cooperation and dialogue aimed at ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program through the resolution of all outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA.
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