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Middle East

Iran to join France-based nuclear fusion project

media Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation chief Ali Akbar Saleh with experts during negotiations on the nuclear deal that ended sanctions Reuters/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

France and Iran are to cooperate on the international nuclear fusion project Iter, Iranian officials announced on Tuesday a year after the deal Tehran reached with six world powers led by the US.

Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told the Mehr and Fars news agencies that Iranian officials have "reached a general understanding with the French side for joint cooperation" on the project, which is based in the south of France.

The organisation's boss, Ali Akbar Salehi, visited Iter's headquarters near Aix-en-Provence at the end of June, the agencies said.

He was one of the key negotiators in the nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions in exchange for Iran's agreement to curb its nuclear programme in the light of fears that it might build nuclear weapons.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, whose sponsors include China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia and the US, was launched in 1985 to develop the creation of nuclear power by fusion, a method that is considered potentially safer in both its production process and its waste than the currently used fission process.

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