TEHRAN — Iran says it has transferred 11 tons of heavy water, which can be used in the production of nuclear arms, to Oman.
The head of Iran’s nuclear program, Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted by official media Tuesday as saying that the heavy water, which is used to cool reactors that produce plutonium, was transferred to the Arab country. Oman often serves as a mediator between Iran and the West.
On Sunday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that the heavy water was being transferred to Oman for sale, as several foreign firms and countries
A recent report from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran exceeded its heavy water limit by 100 kilograms (220 pounds) over the 130 metric tons allowed under last year’s nuclear agreement, a small but significant violation, drawing criticicism from the head of the UN’s atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, for Tehran’s second breach this year of the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.
“It is important that such situations should be avoided in the future in order to maintain international confidence in the implementation” of the deal, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last week in Vienna.
Heavy water, a modified form of normal water, is used in certain types of nuclear reactors.
The 2015 nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, states that Iran’s “needs” are estimated to be around 130 metric tons of heavy water.
The 2015 nuclear accord went into effect in January to cap Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
US president-elect Donald Trump has said his “number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran,” and that “we will enforce it like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before, folks, believe me,” leading to much speculation on the future of the nuclear deal.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.