A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator confirms reports that Iran will sell 32 metric tons of heavy water to the United States
, PressTV reports.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi told PressTV in Vienna, Austria, on Friday that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and a US
company reached an agreement on heavy water sale on Friday before a joint commission meeting between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
He added that the agreement was signed following three months of negotiations.
Araqchi and Helga Schmid, who represents the P5+1 countries, held four-hour talks in Vienna on Friday for the first time after Iran and the six global powers started implementing the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on January 16.
During the meeting, Araqchi and Schmid discussed the process of the JCPOA implementation and obstacles in this regard as well as the lifting of sanctions against Iran.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States
, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 following two and a half years of intensive talks.
Under the JCPOA, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US would be lifted. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
US announcement on Iran’s heavy water purchase
The US Department of Energy will buy 32 metric tons of heavy water from Iran for $8.6 million, a department spokeswoman said on Friday.
“The United States will not be Iran’s customer forever,” the spokeswoman said and added that the department plans to sell the heavy water to commercial and research entities, including a national lab, inside the US.
Meanwhile, State Department spokesman John Kirby said Iran’s compliance with the landmark nuclear agreement meant that the heavy water had already been removed from Iran.
“Our purchase of the heavy water means that it will… be used for critically important research and non-nuclear industrial requirements,” Kirby added.
The JCPOA allows Iran to sell its enriched uranium material — called UF6 — and to buy natural uranium or “yellow cake” in return.