Iran more cautious in selling heavy water to US after $2B confiscation

Nuclear Program Materials 10 May 2016 15:53 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 10

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Iran was going to deliver a heavy water consignment to the US, but following the confiscation of $2 billion assets, Tehran chose to hold talks with Washington to exactly clarify how the payment of the deal is carried out, says Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.

He added that Iran has in the meantime started talks with Moscow to sell the heavy water to Russia, IRNA news agency reported May 10.

On Apr. 20, a US court ruled that $2 billion assets of Iran had to be turned over to the families of the American victims of a 1983 bombing in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, and other attacks blamed on Iran. The Islamic Republic has denied any role in the attacks.

The money confiscated through the verdict belongs to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The assets have been previously blocked under the US sanctions.

Recent reports say Iran has signed a deal to sell 32 tons of heavy water to the United States for $8.6 million. Iran produces 20 tons of heavy water a year.

Beside the 130 tons of heavy water that Tehran can keep for itself under the country's nuclear deal with world powers, Iran currently has about 70 tons of surplus heavy water to be sold in the global markets.

The heavy water consumption globally is about 95 tons a year, of which almost 75 percent accounts for the US market.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Salehi said Iran is also seeking nuclear cooperation with the Czech Republic.

"The Czech Republic has a bright record in the nuclear industry and is able to make all the equipment from the first to the last. We have started talks with that country on building power plants," said the Iranian official.