AEOI Chief: Iran Only Developing State to Export Enriched Uranium, Heavy Water
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi expressed pleasure that the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the world powers provides the ground for the country to export enriched uranium and heavy water.
“We are the only country among the 130 to 140 developing states that can export two of our strategic products to the international markets; enriched uranium and heavy water,” Salehi said, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran on Tuesday.
He downplayed the 10-year-long limitations on Iran’s nuclear activities based on the last Tuesday agreement between Tehran and the world powers, and said during this period the country will build more advanced centrifuges, will commercialize them and will run activities in Natanz nuclear enrichment facilities to reach the 190,000 Separative Work Units (SWU) and 1,000,000 SWU in due time.
“Therefore, the enrichment in Natanz will be maintained and the Arak reactor will remain a heavy water facility in nature,” Salehi underlined.
Iran and the six world powers struck a final agreement in Vienna last Tuesday to end a 13-year-old nuclear standoff.
In relevant remarks late in December, Salehi said the country had the most advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, but it has avoided injecting UF6 gas into them as a confidence-building measure for the talks with the world powers.
“We possess the IR4, IR6 and IR8 centrifuges and the IR8 is the latest generation of centrifuges whose enrichment power is equal to 24 SWUs,” Salehi said.
“We haven’t injected gas into these centrifuges on a voluntary basis and as long as the negotiations continue, we do not intend to inject gas into IR8,” he added.
Salehi underscored that Iran’s decision to refrain from injecting UF6 gas into the powerful IR8 centrifuges was a confidence-building measure to show its good will to the world powers during the nuclear talks.
In a relevant development in July, the Iranian legislators in a statement stressed that any final deal with the sextet should endorse Iran’s use of enough centrifuge machines to produce its needed 190,000 SWUs enrichment capacity for fueling Iran’s power and research reactors.
“As the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) explicitly announced, the country needs 190,000 SWUs for producing fuel for its nuclear power plants, (therefore) the negotiating team should avoid (inking) any agreement which will be different from this amount or lead to pressures by the Group 5+1(the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) or any ambiguities in the future,” the statement read by member of the parliament’s Presiding Board Zarqam Sadeqi stressed.
The statement was issued over a week after Ayatollah Khamenei rejected the world powers’ demand from Iran to suffice to 10,000 SWUs for enriching uranium, and underlined, “According to the relevant (Iranian) officials the country definitely needs 190,000 SWUs.”