IAEA informed on Iran suspected detonators

The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters during a board of governors meeting in Vienna. (File photo: Reuters)

Iran has provided the U.N. nuclear watchdog with a report about the use of detonators with military applications, as part of a seven-step accord intended to allay fears about the country’s atomic program, Reuters reported Iranian media as saying on Sunday.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency said on Sunday the “EBW report has already been submitted to IAEA, (along with) updated design information on Arak reactor.”

There was no immediate comment from the international nuclear watchdog, but senior IAEA official Massimo Aparo was due to join a team of inspectors in Tehran late on Sunday to visit Saghand uranium mine and “yellow cake” production plant in Ardakan, and also hold discussions on the Arak reactor.

“The implementation of all seven steps agreed with IAEA will be finalized this week,” ISNA said.

Hoping to end global economic sanctions, Iran’s new government agreed in February to take seven practical steps by May 15 to clear up suspicions held by the United States and several other countries that its goal is to produce nuclear weapons.

Tehran insists its nuclear projects are purely civilian.

Among the seven steps is to provide information to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on so-called exploding bridge wire (EBW) detonators, which can have both civilian and military applications.

The heavy water Arak reactor is another point of contention between Tehran and the IAEA, which is mandated by world powers to investigate Iran's suspected nuclear activities.

Iran hardliners

The expected visit comes after hardliners gathered at the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran to protest against the Islamic Republic’s recent deal with world powers over its contested nuclear program, the Associated Press reported.

Hardliners carried banners Saturday accusing moderate President Hassan Rowhani and the nation’s nuclear negotiation team of “giving up Iran’s right in return for little.”

Rowhani has faced criticism from hard-liners over an interim deal struck in November, which they refer to as a “poison chalice.”

The temporary deal saw some sanctions lifted against Iran in exchange for it limiting uranium enrichment and allowing in international inspectors.

World powers and Iran are negotiating the terms of a final deal.

The West fears Iran's nuclear program could allow it to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have to be given a chance, but sanctions could still be reinstated if needed, Reuters reported.

Merkel said Iran had to comply with an agreement under which Tehran agreed to limit parts of its nuclear work in return for the easing of some sanctions.

“If Iran does not meet its obligations, or does not meet them adequately, we remain ready to take back the current limited suspension of sanctions,” she said at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event.

“But first of all, we have to give the negotiations a chance.”

(With The Associated Press, and Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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