There are a lot of additional IAEA inspections on the horizon for Iran, but the nation’s nuclear officials are going above and beyond the terms required by their new deal with the P5+1, inviting the inspectors to visit the under construction Arak heavy water reactor.
The controversy over Arak has been something of a microcosm of the differences in perspective of Western nations and Iran, as the reactor was designed, amid complaints about Iran’s enrichment of uranium, to run on unenriched uranium.
While that would seem to be a reassuring measure, hawks have suggested that since the waste from Arak would hypothetically include plutonium, which could be extracted by a reprocessing facility that doesn’t exist and isn’t planned, it amounts to another vector by which Iran could get nuclear weapons.
Under the deal, Iran won’t make any improvements to the reactor itself for six months, but they can continue to work on the facility itself. An eventual deal will likely involve some third party nation, likely Russia, taking the waste out of the country after use.
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