Iran said on Tuesday that it plans to sell as much as 40 tons of its excess heavy water supplies to the US – a major step which is expected to take the country toward the commercialization of its nuclear energy program.
Ali Asghar Zarean, the deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), has been quoted by the media as saying that the landmark sales of heavy water supplies will be made to the US through a third party.
Zarean added that Iran would through this officially join the club of producers of strategic nuclear materials – what he emphasized will be “a huge national achievement” and “a victory” for the country.
“Six tons of the exported heavy water will be used in nuclear facilities and the rest in American research centers,” he has been quoted as saying.
The official further emphasized that the planned exports of heavy water to the US will be in line with the IAEO’s strategy to commercialize the Iranian nuclear energy products.
On a related front, IAEO Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi announced also on Tuesday that Iran’s recent importation of 220 tons of yellow cake from Russia was another key milestone in the country’s push toward the trade of the materials used for production of nuclear energy.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said last August that Iran will begin to commercialize its nuclear technology after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“We will import yellow cake from abroad and we will export enriched UF6,” President Rouhani told reporters.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – agreed over the JCPOA last July. Based on it, Iran will restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities in return for the removal of certain economic sanctions imposed against the country.
The JCPOA also allows Iran to sell its enriched uranium material – called UF6 – and to buy natural uranium or “yellow cake” in return.