MOSCOW, Russian President Vladimir Putin eased restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran on Monday, signing a decree that Russian companies be allowed to help modify centrifuges at Iran’s Fordo enrichment site and redesign the heavy water reactor at Arak, which is to be converted to solely peaceful purposes, per the Iran nuclear agreement.
The decree also allows Russian companies to more easily do business with Iran, in anticipation of the lifting of sanctions.
The Iran nuclear agreement, agreed to in July by Iran and six world powers, including Russia, calls for a guarantee of a peaceful Iranian nuclear program and to have no more than 300 kilograms of enriched uranium available. Iran will no longer produce weapons-grade plutonium, and the Fordo site will be converted to a research center.
Putin’s decree allows Russia to import enriched uranium from Iran in exchange for natural uranium, and cancels any previous restrictions on dealings between the two countries in the nuclear technology field.
After signing the order, Putin traveled to Tehran for the first time since 2007 and met with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani before attending a one-day summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
By Ed Adamczyk