Iran, China, US likely to cooperate on Arak heavy water reactor: Rouhani

Rouhani

President Rouhani said in a press conference that modernization of Arak heavy water reactor as agreed upon in JCPOA will be done by China and another P5+1 member states.

President Rouhani announced on Saturday that Iran will improve its Arak heavy water reactor with the cooperation of China and probably the United States.

In his press conference in Tehran, Rouhani hailed Iran’s “good” relations with China, saying that the ties between the two states are progressing forward, and “there are many plans ahead where the Chinese side can participate.”

He made the remarks in reply to a question about Tehran’s ties with China, stressing that a plan to redesign an Iranian nuclear site is one of the fields where the two states can cooperate.

“One of the points agreed upon in JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was that Arak heavy water reactor could be further modernized,” Rouhani said, referring to the text of a comprehensive nuclear accord reached between Tehran and world powers on July 14.

“This will be done by China and one of the (other) P5+1 member states (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany),” the president said, adding that the other country would probably be the United States.

His remarks came as Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi traveled to China on Thursday to hold talks on China’s technical assistance for redesigning Arak heavy water reactor that Tehran has undertaken to “redesign and rebuild” under a lasting nuclear deal with world powers.

According to JCPOA, “Iran will redesign and rebuild a modernized heavy water research reactor in Arak, based on an agreed conceptual design, using fuel enriched up to 3.67 %, in a form of an international partnership which will certify the final design.”

President Rouhani also voiced Iran’s willingness to have more friendly relations with all of its neighbors including Saudi Arabia, saying that certain problems have hindered the thaw in ties.

One of the results of the recent nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers was the trust created in the leaders of those countries that previously had doubts about Iran’s nuclear intentions, Rouhani said.

Iran seeks improved relations with all of its neighbors including Saudi Arabia, he said, adding that the government has already voiced its readiness to improve ties with Riyadh since he took office.

Unfortunately, certain problems happened, including those in Yemen, which spoiled the good atmosphere, he added.

Rouhani further expressed hope that Saudi officials would prepare the grounds for better ties with Tehran, and stop killing innocent people in Yemen.

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