Iran consults with IAEA on uranium enrichment for nuclear-powered ships

by WorldTribune Staff, December 19, 2016

Iran has discussed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the level of uranium enrichment that will be needed for the Islamic Republic to produce nuclear-powered vessels, a report said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed the plans for nuclear-powered ships with IAEA head Yukiyo Amano on Dec. 18, AFP reported. Details for the plans are to be presented within three months, according to the report.

IAEA head Amano meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Dec. 18. /AP
IAEA head Yukiyo Amano meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Dec. 18. /AP

Rouhani told Amano he hoped “Iran and the IAEA can have good technical cooperations on the production of nuclear propellants for maritime transport,” said the Iranian government’s website.

In an earlier meeting with Amano, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said the two “discussed the nuclear-powered engines in detail.”

Salehi added that talking points included the level of uranium-enrichment required for the ships.

“Normally, the enrichment for such engines is between five percent and 90 percent. It depends on the type of engine and the time and goal we want to reach,” said Salehi.

Rouhani last week ordered Iranian scientists to start developing systems for nuclear-powered marine vessels in response to what he said was the United States’ “violation” of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Teheran said Washington breached the nuclear accord by renewing the Iran Sanctions Act, even though almost all of its measures remain suspended under the deal.

“We adhere to our commitments and we will not trigger the violation of commitments,” Rouhani said after meeting with Amano, repeating that the renewal of sanctions “contradicts” the accord.

“As long as the other sides remain committed to their commitments in the (nuclear deal), the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to act on its commitments,” he added, according to AFP.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest last week downplayed Rouhani’s directive, arguing that the move is not a violation of Iran’s commitments under the nuclear deal.

“The announcement from the Iranians today does not run counter to the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Earnest told a news briefing.