Iran violated the nuclear deal at least twice, producing more heavy water than allowed under the agreement. With the incoming US administration warning it could try to overturn the deal, Iran’s repeated violations are adding concerns about the deals’ durability.
Iran has begun to export excess quantities of heavy water, as it works to clean up a significant violation of the controversial nuclear deal.
Both Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency and two diplomats familiar with Iran’s nuclear program reported that by Monday the country had transferred some of its surplus heavy water to nearby Oman for sale.
Heavy water is used to cool nuclear reactors that can produce substantial amounts of plutonium, which can be applied to making the fissile core of nuclear bombs.
A recent report from the United Nations’ (UN) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Tehran had more heavy water in storage than called for by the agreement.
While the access was slight — 100 kilograms (220 pounds) over the allotted 130 metric tons — it is the second time that Iran had exceeded its limit and breached the nuclear deal since it came into effect in January.
US diplomats and lawmakers have criticized the infringement, and with the incoming US administration warning it could try to overturn the deal, Iran’s repeated breach of its commitment is adding concerns about its durability.
This breach of the agreement was Iran’s second since the signing of the deal a year ago, and raises further fears that Iran may be systematically violating the deal, while the IAEA discovers only the tip of the iceberg.
In February, a month after the deal went into effect, the agency noted Iran’s first violation when it exceeded its allotted limit of heavy water. The amount was greater in that case.
Israel has repeatedly warned the world that Iran has no intention of curbing its nuclear weapons program and will do all it can to circumvent the deal and obtain an atomic bomb.
President-Elect Donald Trump derided the nuclear deal during September’s presidential debate, saying the agreement was “the worst ever signed.”
The deal, he said, was “another beauty where you have a country that was ready to fall, I mean, they were doing so badly. They were choking on the sanctions. And now they’re going to be actually probably a major power at some point pretty soon, the way they’re going.”
On another occasion, he announced that his “number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”
By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.