Heavy Water Trade Gateway to Int’l Nuclear Market
Iran's international deals to sell its stocks of heavy water, in excess of the limits set by the 2015 nuclear agreement with major powers, have allowed it entry to the global market of nuclear products, a lawmaker said.
Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) launched the full implementation of the landmark pact in January.
It gave Iran sanctions relief in return for time-bound curbs on its nuclear program, which include a call on the Islamic Republic to keep its reserves of heavy water below 130 tons by selling, diluting or disposing of the excess amounts, under certain conditions.
Heavy water is a non-radioactive substance used in some types of nuclear reactors.
Iranian officials announced in early June that a controversial deal with the US companies for the sale of 32 tons of heavy water had gone ahead, despite opposition from hawkish US lawmakers.
Russian media also reported about a month ago that Moscow had received the deliveries of 38 tons of Iran's heavy water under a purchase deal.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Fars News Agency late last month that the Islamic Republic is now in the process of reaching similar agreements with European firms.
"Currently, some European companies want Iran's heavy water and have applied for licenses required for purchasing the product. Their orders are for several tons each," he said.
"Iran has sold all its excess stocks of heavy water for the time being and is taking orders for future deliveries."
Commenting on the issue, lawmaker Alireza Rahimi told ICANA on Friday that "heavy water deals marked Iran's entry into the nuclear markets … European countries have recognized Iran as a country with heavy water-producing capabilities."
He said the Islamic Republic's increased nuclear cooperation with other countries indicates that it is successfully recovering from years of sanctions and that a "positive interactive atmosphere" is prevailing after the nuclear accord.
Asghar Salimi, another member of parliament, echoed Rahimi's view, saying, "Our adversaries were once seeking to totally dismantle our national nuclear industry and were reluctant to allow any Iranian peaceful nuclear activity. But today Iran is officially and legitimately dealing heavy water with European states."
Salimi stressed that such deals highlight Iran's national capabilities and effective nuclear diplomacy.
"The Islamic Republic's heavy water is a high-purity product and meets international standards, which qualities have given rise to high demand among European countries," he said.