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Iran says has removed core from Arak reactor in key nuclear deal step

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran has removed the sensitive core of its Arak nuclear reactor and UN inspectors will visit the site on Thursday to verify the move crucial to the implementation of Tehran’s atomic agreement with major powers, state television said on Thursday.

“The core vessel of the Arak reactor has been removed … and IAEA inspectors will visit the site to verify it and report it to the IAEA … We are ready for the implementation day of the deal,” Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said.

Kamalvandi said “Implementation Day,” when Iran will start to get relief from international sanctions in exchange for curtailing its nuclear programme under the July 2015 agreement, would come ‘very soon’.

Removal of the core from the Arak reactor will largely eliminate its ability to yield nuclear bomb-grade plutonium, and was one of the toughest issues in the long nuclear negotiations between Iran and the powers.

“The core’s holes will be filled with concrete … The core was initially supposed to be cut into parts but we did not accept it as we want to keep it as the symbol of Iran’s nuclear industry,” Kamalvandi told state TV.


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