Heavy Water Transfer Facilitates Effective Marketing

Heavy Water Transfer Facilitates Effective Marketing
Heavy Water Transfer Facilitates Effective Marketing

A lawmaker said the recent shipment of some of Iran's heavy water supplies to Oman has allowed for more effective marketing of the product.

"The transfer of heavy water to Oman has provided an opportunity for marketing and selling this product," Alireza Rahimi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, also told ICANA on Wednesday.

Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced a day earlier that 11 tons of heavy water had been sent to Oman.

It is a material used as a moderator in reactors like Iran's unfinished one at Arak, which has been put out of use.

Salehi's announcement came after the Islamic Republic faced criticism over a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency that its heavy water stockpile had gone beyond the amount allowable under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran dismissed the criticism by invoking the loose wording used in the text of the nuclear agreement to specify the limit on heavy water stocks.

The pact, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, stipulates that Iran should not have more heavy water than it needs, adding that those needs are estimated to be 130 tons.

It requires Iran to sell, dilute or dispose of the excessive supplies, under certain conditions.

Iran accepted that and other restrictions under the landmark accord, concluded last year and put in place in January, in return for relief from international sanctions.

IAEA, which oversees the action plan, said in the report that Tehran had 130.1 tons of the material.

Reza Najafi, spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told the agency's quarterly Board of Governors meeting a week ago that technically the surplus is negligible.

"The 130-metric-ton limit mentioned in the JCPOA is only an estimate. This means that 1-2% beyond that estimated amount is technically allowable, so that extra amount cannot be considered excessive," he said.

Najafi said Iran has been in contact with "potential buyers" of the material and that it may reduce the stockpile to below 125 metric tons.

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.

Iran is now in the process of reaching similar agreements with European firms.

IAEA has repeatedly said Iran is meeting its other commitments under the action plan, which includes a pledge to redesign and rebuild the Arak heavy water reactor.

It is the second time that the Vienna-based agency reports that Iran's stocks of heavy water have slightly exceeded 130 tons.


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