A U.S. official said on Wednesday that the Obama administration is considering asking the Iranian government to take down part of its Arak nuclear reactor as part of a long-term deal on the country's nuclear program.
A final agreement "includes a lot of dismantling of their infrastructure," Wendy Sherman, the State Department's undersecretary for political affairs, said during an interview with PBS. "Because, quite frankly, we're not quite sure what you need a 40-megawatt heavy-water reactor, which is what Arak is, for any civilian peaceful purpose."
Fuel production at the heavy-water reactor, which is currently unfinished, has been put on hold under the interim agreement reached before Thanksgiving.
Sherman also said that the Obama team is open to allowing for some level of Iranian enrichment in a final deal, after the current six-month accord expires, despite pushback on the idea from members of Congress.
The United States and its international partners have "said in this agreement that when we get to a comprehensive agreement, we would consider a limited, modest enrichment program, if it is attached to real, practical needs and if, in fact, they agree to all the monitoring and all of the intrusive verification that is needed on limiting the scope, the capacity of the stockpiles and everything that they do," the envoy told the "PBS NewsHour."