Iran selling excess heavy water to U.S.; denies dismantling Arak reactor core

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Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said it will sell its stock of excess heavy water to the United States as part of Teheran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

“Iran will sell 40 tons of its excess heavy water to the United States through a third country,” Ali Asghar Zarean, Iran’s deputy atomic chief, said on Jan. 12. “Six tons of the exported heavy water will be used in nuclear facilities and the rest in American research centers.”

Iran's heavy water reactor at Arak.
Iran’s heavy water reactor at Arak.

Meanwhile, Zarean denied reports that Iran had dismantled the core of its Arak nuclear reactor. Iran had agreed to replace the core of the Arak heavy water reactor as part of the nuclear deal with world powers.

“We must have a solid agreement with the foreign side, including China… The documents of the agreement will be officially exchanged at the end of next week or this week,” Zarean said. “As long as the agreement is not finalized, we will not take any physical measures to remove the core of the Arak reactor.”

Teheran is said to have reduced the number of its centrifuges and transferred the bulk of its low-enriched uranium stockpile to Russia.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must verify that Iran has fulfilled all of its obligations under the deal before sanctions can be lifted.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency, said “several” IAEA inspectors were present in Iran “and we hope to finalize things in the next few days. It is a matter of days, not weeks.”

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