Iran officially sells its heavy water and derivatives, and the US has been one of the purchasers, the country’s nuclear energy chief said Tuesday.

Mohammad Eslami, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said Tehran has been receiving requests for purchasing its heavy water from many countries, not just the US.

“Currently, we sell both the heavy water and its derivatives,” Eslami, who also serves as one of the country’s vice presidents, added during an event in Tehran.

His remarks came two days after Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Washington is buying Iran’s heavy water for its nuclear reactors through an intermediary despite sanctions.

The top diplomat said a Western official once told him that after testing they found Iran’s heavy water of the “highest quality” in the world.

Heavy water, which contains heavy hydrogen, is known as the second-most sought-after nuclear material after uranium, and Iran is one of the few countries that produce it.

In August, Eslami said the heavy water of the Khandab nuclear facility in central Iran was particularly in high demand, adding that heavy investments are being made to produce heavy water derivatives.

Eslami’s deputy and AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi in April said that Washington had “once again” showed interest in purchasing heavy water from Iran for its “high quality.”

“We should know that the heavy water produced in Iran is among the best in the world and even the Americans were once trying to purchase it after they analyzed its properties,” he said at the time.

In September, Kamalvandi said the heavy water produced in Iran “ranks first in the world in terms of quality,” adding that European countries have expressed interest in it.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran was allowed to keep up to 130 tons of heavy water. However, amid the standoff to revive the pact, tensions have been running high between Tehran and Washington.

In November 2019, the UN nuclear watchdog reported that Iran’s stock of heavy water for reactors had crossed the limit set under its 2015 agreement with world powers, reaching 131.5 tons.

Source » aa