LEU Shipped to Russia Under JCPOA

LEU Shipped to Russia Under JCPOA LEU Shipped to Russia Under JCPOA

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement on Tuesday Iran has completed one of its commitments under the July 14 nuclear deal with major powers by shipping its excess enriched uranium stock to Russia on Monday.

The accord struck with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) subjects Tehran's nuclear work to temporary restrictions and in return entitles it to sanctions relief.

Among the curbs Iran accepted on its nuclear program was cutting its enriched uranium stockpile to below 300 kg with a fissile purity of 3.67 percent max.

It was to either export the surplus stock, dilute it to natural uranium level or turn it into fuel plates to power the Arak research reactor.

"The excess quantities are to be sold based on international prices and delivered to the international buyer in return for natural uranium delivered to Iran, or are to be down-blended to natural uranium level," the deal stated.

Iran signed an agreement with Russia to swap its enriched uranium supplies for raw uranium.

Earlier this month, Iranian officials confirmed that Russia met its side of the agreement to deliver the shipment of natural uranium, also known as yellowcake.

Now the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement confirmed receiving enriched uranium materials from Tehran amounting to about 11 tons.

"Under Russia's assistance, all of the enriched uranium subject to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the formal title of the nuclear pact] has been removed from Iran."

***Lucrative Deal

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said, "We received about 200,000 kg of yellowcake; this is not only a big step toward the implementation of the JCPOA, but also a lucrative deal," Fars News Agency reported.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also issued a statement on Monday, welcoming the development as "one of the most significant steps Iran has taken toward fulfilling its commitments".

The JCPOA will not come into full effect until the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that all curbs on Tehran's nuclear program are in place.

"Russia, as a participant in the JCPOA … played an essential role by taking this material out of Iran and providing natural uranium in exchange," Reuters quoted Kerry as saying.

"This removal of all this enriched material out of Iran is a significant step toward Iran meeting its commitment to have no more than 300 kg of low-enriched uranium by Implementation Day."

Other measures Iran needs to complete to announce reaching the Implementation Day under the action plan include the dismantling of about two-thirds of installed centrifuges at Fordo and Natanz enrichment facilities and removing the core of the Arak heavy water reactor.

Kamalvandi said Implementation Day is expected in "less than a month".