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Report: Iranian President Prepared to Shut Down Nuclear Site

Iran's new president Hassan Rohani is willing to shut down its nuclear facility if the West agrees to lift Islamic republic's sanctions.
By Kochava Rozenbaum
First Publish: 9/16/2013, 11:21 PM

Iran's  new President Hassan Rohani
Iran's  new President Hassan Rohani
AFP file

In an attempt to convince the West to lift international sanctions on Iran, President Hassan Rohani is reportedly willing to dismantle the nuclear facility in Fordo, a site which is widely considered to pose a grave threat to Israel and the West. 

The report was made by the German news source, Spiegel Online. Intelligence sources quoted in the report said that Rohani intends on announcing the details of his offer before the United Nations General Assembly at the end of the month. 

"Spiegel has learned from intelligence sources that Iran's new president, Hassan Rohani, is reportedly prepared to decommission the Fordo enrichment plant and allow international inspectors to monitor the removal of the centrifuges," the report claimed. 

The Fordo nuclear facility began operations in late 2011 and is now believed to be "virtually indestructible." Iran will demand that in return for "destroying" Fordo's nuclear site, the U.S. and Europe rescind their sanctions against the Islamic Republic, including a ban on Iranian oil exports, and allow for international business with Iran's central bank.

The West imposed sanctions on services to and from Iran over its refusal to allow full oversight of its nuclear program, which many fear is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran says that its nuclear program has purely peaceful aims.

It wasn't until Rohani was sworn into office in June that the full extent of Iran's disastrous economic situation was learned. 

"Iran can reportedly only avoid a national bankruptcy if the international sanctions are lifted and new money flows into the country," Spiegel reported.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top diplomat, in New York next Sunday to brief her on the outline of the deal.