US Finalizing Deal to Buy Iran Heavy Water

US Finalizing Deal to Buy Iran Heavy WaterUS Finalizing Deal to Buy Iran Heavy Water

The US media have reported that the administration of President Barack Obama is moving to finalize a deal with Iran worth $8.6 million to buy heavy water from Iran.

"We are still in the process of executing that first transaction," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Wednesday at a policy forum hosted by Politico in Washington.

"We would facilitate a first purchase and a first purchase only," Moniz was quoted as saying by Washington Examiner.   

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in April that Iran under a deal with the US will sell 32 tons of heavy water to the country—what was seen as a major step in the commercialization of Iran's nuclear energy program.

US officials have emphasized that the material will be provided to commercial and research entities, including a national lab, inside the US.

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.

"We will import yellowcake from abroad and we will export enriched UF6," Rouhani said at the time, Press TV reported.  Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) agreed over the JCPOA last July. Based on the agreement, Iran will restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities in return for the removal of economic sanctions imposed against the country.

The JCPOA gives Iran the right to sell, dilute or dispose of the heavy water it has produced under certain conditions.

It also allows Iran to sell its enriched uranium and to buy natural uranium or yellowcake in return.

Russia announced in April that it is considering buying 40 tons of heavy water from Iran in what could make Moscow the second customer of the nuclear material from Iran after Washington.