Heavy Water Production in Full Swing
Iran continues to produce heavy water as actively as before and the 2015 nuclear deal, despite capping Tehran's stocks of the strategic product, has helped it gain a foothold in the world market, a lawmaker said.
"The Islamic Republic is capable of producing heavy water that has many uses. After the JCPOA, the production has been neither reduced nor halted," Mojtaba Zolnouri told ICANA on Saturday.
JCPOA stands for the formal title of the accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
"We continue the work at full capacity and the nuclear agreement not only has not adversely affected the heavy water production, but has created an appropriate atmosphere for us to enter the global arena."
Under the action plan, Iran got relief from international sanctions in return for time-bound curbs on its nuclear program, including 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 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 in August that Moscow had received the delivery of 38 tons of Iran's heavy water under a purchase deal.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said in late October that the Islamic Republic was 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."
Reuters cited a diplomat as saying early this month that a confidential report of the UN nuclear agency confirmed Iran shipped 11 tons of heavy water abroad, days after the agency had claimed Tehran was slightly over the deal's soft limit on the material.
The report did not identify the shipment's destination but the Iranian officials had said it was Oman. The International Atomic Energy Agency 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.