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IAEA Invited To Visit Iran's Arak Site In December

  • RFE/RL

Iran's Arak nuclear reactor is of concern to the international community because weapons-grade plutonium could be one of its byproducts. (file photo)

Iran's Arak nuclear reactor is of concern to the international community because weapons-grade plutonium could be one of its byproducts. (file photo)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran has invited UN inspectors to visit a nuclear-related heavy-water facility early next month.

IAEA Director-General Yuyika Amano made the announcement at a meeting of the UN agency’s board of governors in Vienna on November 28. The invitation to Iran's Arak plant is for December 8.

According to a deal reached with world powers on November 24, Iran has agreed to curb its uranium-enrichment program for six months and not to commission the Arak reactor or transfer fuel or heavy water to the reactor site.

In return, some international sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic are to be lifted.

According to Amano, under the interim agreement reached in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers -- comprising France, Britain, Russia, China, the United States, plus Germany -- the IAEA will have a key role in monitoring the implementation of the deal.

"I have received a letter from EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, on behalf of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, concerning the Joint Plan of Action agreed with Iran on 24 November in Geneva," he said. "The letter from the High Representative states that 'The IAEA will have an important role in the verification of the nuclear-related measures,' which were agreed in Geneva. I welcome the Joint Plan of Action. We are now looking at the way in which the elements of the agreement relevant to the [International Atomic Energy] Agency could be put into practice."

The research reactor which is being built at Arak is of concern to the international community because one of the byproducts in its spent fuel will be weapons-grade plutonium.

European Court Endorses Sanctions Against Company

Meanwhile, in related news, the European Union's top court has ruled that the bloc was right to sanction an Iranian firm for supporting Tehran's nuclear activities, while ruling against sanctions for another firm.

The companies Kala Naft and Fulmen had both been included on European Union lists of entities whose funds were to be frozen, but they challenged the sanctions.

In 2012, the EU’s General Court ruled that they had been incorrectly targeted.

The Court of Justice reversed that decision on November 28 in the case of Kala Naft, arguing that the lower court had not taken into account a UN decision to widen the application of sanctions.

The court also upheld the 2012 decision to remove Fulmen from the list, saying it had not been presented with evidence proving their involvement in nuclear proliferation.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and dpa
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