Josh Earnest

White House: Agreement on buying Iran heavy water licensed

TEHRAN (ISNA)- White House Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that the United States, through the Department of Energy, did make properly licensed purchase of about 32 metric tons of heavy-water from Iran.

There is a market for heavy-water, particularly when it comes to applications related to industry and research here in the United States. And that’s how that material will be used by the Department of Energy — to essentially sell it at market prices to entities that would use it for industrial or research purposes here in the United States, he told reporters.

I should underscore that there this is no — that heavy-water is not radioactive. It doesn’t pose any sort of public health concern. But it is valuable in terms of its use in these particular technical applications.

“More generally, I can say that this is consistent with Iran fulfilling their obligations as a part of their Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Part of the prescribed steps that they had to take was to reduce their nuclear stockpile and that involved reducing their technological nuclear capabilities. So Iran did have to ship a bunch of its heavy-water out of the country, and that’s what they’ve done and now they’re selling off the stockpile,” he said.

And the United States has purchased some of it for resale to entities in the United States that would use it for research purposes or even industrial purposes in some cases, Earnest added.