IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, center, shown with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the U.N. building in Vienna, cautioned Iran on Thursday over its heavy-water breach. Photo: Reuters
Wall Street Journal: Iran to Ship Heavy Water Out of Country to Ease Nuclear Conflict
Country under fire for exceeding allowed stockpile of the material, which can yield plutonium.
BRUSSELS—Iran will ship around 11 metric tons of heavy water out of the country in the next couple of days, according to people familiar with the plans, defusing a conflict with the U.S. and others over the Iranian nuclear deal.
Earlier this week, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, expressed concerns that Iran had for the second time exceeded a 130 metric-ton threshold for its heavy-water stockpile. A metric ton is equivalent to 1.1 short tons.
He warned that a repetition of this breech could undermine confidence in the full implementation of the July 2015 agreement designed to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Weapons-grade plutonium can be separated from heavy water and used as material for a nuclear weapon, although there are a number of steps needed to do this. The nuclear accord therefore set a limit on Iran’s domestic stockpile of heavy water.
Read more ....
WNU Editor: Iran's initial hesitation to ship out this heavy water stockpile made no sense to me. And now the timing of this move .... just 10 days after the U.S. Presidential election .... is giving the impression that the Iranians just blinked.