Global powers reportedly approve Russian shipment of uranium to Iran

Special to

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

U.S. media are reporting that the White House and other global powers have approved a large shipment of natural uranium from Russia to Iran in an exchange authorized by the Iran nuclear deal.

Iranian nuclear research reactor located in Teheran. / epa

Diplomats told the Associated Press and Fox News that the transfer recently agreed by the United States and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran foresees delivery of 116 metric tons of natural uranium.

Tehran already got a similar amount of natural uranium in 2015 as part of negotiations leading up to the nuclear deal, in a swap for enriched uranium it sent to Russia.

But the new shipment will be the first such consignment since the deal came into force a year ago.

The shipment comes at a sensitive time as the incoming Donald Trump administration and most U.S. Republican lawmakers have opposed the nuclear deal and might view the shipment as further evidence that Tehran won too many concessions.

Iran’s use of the uranium will be closely monitored by a United Nations watchdog.

Uranium can be enriched to levels ranging from reactor fuel to the core of an atomic bomb. Iran says it has no interest in such weapons and it intends to use the uranium for peaceful purposes.