Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country's nuclear facilities, including Arak heavy water reactor, will continue running, dismissing Western governments' call on Tehran to suspend activities of the facility.
“Iran’s nuclear facilities, including the Arak reactor, will continue running at full capacity,” Ali Akbar Salehi said on Thursday.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani in the holy city of Qom.
“We will never give up this important achievement and we have no intention of losing it,” Salehi said of the Arak reactor.
Earlier this month, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the Arak heavy water facility as part of Tehran’s goodwill gestures to remove ambiguities about the peaceful nature of its nuclear energy program.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Salehi also said Iran’s recent nuclear deal with the six world powers protects the Islamic Republic’s nuclear rights.
In November, Iran and six world powers – the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany – signed a landmark nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva to set the stage for the full resolution of the Western standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program.