Iran dismisses MKO allegations about undeclared nuclear site
The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has roundly dismissed the recent allegations by the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) against Tehran’s nuclear program, saying the claims are not worth a response.
“In the past, the International Atomic Energy Agency once examined unfounded accusations of a military nuclear program in Iran. The MKO is a treacherous group, whose strings are being pulled by certain powers. These allegations are not being made by the MKO itself. They are the demands by major powers for propaganda purposes,” Behrouz Kamalvandi told Press TV in an exclusive interview on Monday.
He added, “Currently, the group thinks the timing is good for it to level new allegations as they believe the new administration in the United States is interested in such matters. We do not believe the allegations are of any value. We think this is not an issue to be addressed in Iran, at the international level and even at the IAEA.”
Kamalvandi’s remarks came in repose to the latest MKO claims that the Islamic Republic is violating the nuclear agreement — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries — by secretly conducting research on nuclear weapons components at the Parchin military site in Iran.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016. Under the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic Republic. The IAEA has on multiple occasions confirmed Iran’s adherence to its commitments under the JCPOA.
Kamalvandi also spoke of a deal with China to redesign the Arak heavy water reactor in central Iran. He said the design and construction work are being carried out by Iranian experts, and Chinese specialists will only oversee the process.
“We insisted from the very beginning that the design should be prepared by our own experts and not Western or foreign parties. It took us nearly 13 months to produce the initial design and over the same period, we had to reach a consultation agreement with the Chinese side to do the review process,” Kamalvandi said.
“We prepare the detailed design as the Chinese do the review. We predict that it will take the Chinese at maximum six months to do the review. The detailed design will also be complete between eight months and one year. We will then move to the stage of producing equipment and then installing the pieces before the pilot and final launch. We predict this will take a total of five years. We can say we will meet that deadline,” the AEOI spokesman pointed out.
He added that the modernizing the reactor will serve the interests of both Iran and the other parties of the JCPOA.
On Sunday, the AEOI and Chinese firms signed the final version of a contract to redesign and modernize the Arak heavy water reactor in central Iran.
According to the agreement, the Chinese side is to review the new design of the Arak reactor made by the Iranian experts and confirm its compliance with the international safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iranian experts completed initial phases of the reactor’s redesigning in March.