Obama Plans To Purchase Nuclear Material From Iran
President Barack Obama is moving to finalize a deal worth $8.6 million to buy nuclear material known as ‘heavy water’ from Iran. “We are still in the process of executing that first transaction,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Wednesday at a policy forum hosted by Politico in Washington. “We would facilitate a first purchase, and a first purchase only.”
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in April that Iran will be selling 32 metric tons of heavy water to the USA; a major step in the commercialization of Iran’s nuclear energy program. Other officials claim that the material is to be provided to commercial and research entities, including a national lab, inside the US.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani plans to commercialize Iran’s nuclear technology through the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “We will import yellow cake from abroad and we will export enriched UF6,” President Rouhani told reporters.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries (5 permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) approved the JCPOA last July. Based on that agreement, Iran will restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities in return for the removal of certain economic sanctions imposed against the country. The JCPOA grants Iran the ability to sell, dilute or dispose of the heavy water it has produced under certain conditions. Iran may now also sell its enriched uranium material (UF6) and buy natural uranium (yellow cake) in return.
Russia announced in April that it intends to buy metric 40 tons of heavy water from Iran which will make Moscow the second customer of the nuclear material from Iran after Washington.