Iran reported Monday that it had removed the core of its plutonium-producing nuclear reactor at Arak as part of its efforts to complete its obligations under a new international agreement, even as President Obama moved to guard the deal against action in Congress.
Disabling the reactor is one of the most critical steps required by the nuclear agreement that Iran reached with world powers in July before international sanctions can be lifted. Iran filled in the reactor core, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported, and the reactor will be revamped to yield only small amounts of plutonium insufficient for bomb making.
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The reported progress came as Mr. Obama pledged to veto legislation aimed at undermining the nuclear agreement. The legislation, set to advance in the House on Tuesday, would bar the president from lifting sanctions against Iranian banks or other institutions financially linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps or other Iranian organizations tied to terrorism.
In a written veto threat, the White House said the bill would go beyond the terms of the agreement and thus unravel it “based on activity that may have taken place and ended” long ago. Sabotaging the agreement would “deal a devastating blow to America’s credibility as a leader of international diplomacy,” the message said.
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