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The United States blocks Iran from participating in the ITER project

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The Science magazine wrote in a report that the Iran nuclear deal was meant to usher in a new era of science cooperation between the Islamic republic and other parties to the landmark agreement, which deters the country from pursuing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.  But nearly 2 years after implementation began, few projects are underway. And Science has learned that the United States has frozen Iran out of a collaboration that the deal expressly brokered: ITER, the multibillion-dollar fusion experiment in France.

According to the report, Iran has been poised for months to ink an agreement to join ITER in a limited capacity.

“It was all moving well, until President Donald Trump took office,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

An ITER official who requested anonymity  confirms that the United States is blocking Iran through its seat on ITER’s governing council, which must approve Iran’s participation unanimously.

The journal further wrote that bringing Iran into ITER was expected to be straightforward. European and Iranian officials say, the long delay casts a pall on other scientific collaborations expected under the nuclear deal.

An ITER council meeting later this month is expected to take up the issue.

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