Iran says reactor redesign ends dispute over plutonium production
Iran said it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear program.
Iran\’s atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Arabic-language Al Alam television that Iran diluted 103 kilograms of uranium on April 12, converting it from 20 percent enriched uranium to 5 percent.
Separately, Salehi told state television Iran will redesign its Arak heavy water reactor to produce one-fifth of the plutonium initially planned for it. He said the dispute between world powers and Iran about the Arak reactor has now been "virtually resolved."
The Arak facility is of international concern because of the belief it could produce enough plutonium needed to make a nuclear bomb. There was no immediate comment from world powers.
Under the interim deal reached last year, Iran agreed to curb its most sensitive nuclear activity, in exchange for limited sanctions relief from the group that consists of the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.
Diplomats have held three rounds of talks this year on Iran\’s nuclear program. A new round is expected to begin on May 13.
Those involved in the talks want to reach a permanent deal by the end of July that builds on the interim agreement reached last year.