In a recent TV interview, Ali-Akbar Salehi, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, elaborated on his country's production of heavy water. He said that Iran opposes the West's insistence that Iran ship abroad part of its heavy-water supply prior to the implementation of the JCPOA. Salehi claimed that this demand "is not one of the conditions of the JCPOA."
Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on the Iranian Al-Alam TV on December 20, 2015.
Ali Akbar Salehi: The steps that we have to take were linked to the decision [to close Iran's PMD file], which was adopted by the Board of Governors of the IAEA. After the adoption of this decision, we immediately began to remove the active centrifuges in Natanz and Fordow. We hope that this will be completed in a week, or two weeks at most.
With regard to heavy water, I will give you approximate figures. So far, we have been able to produce about 160 tons of heavy water, of which we keep only 130 tons stored, until the activation of the reactor. We have enough heavy water for the period after the activation. The remaining 30 tons of heavy water will be offered [for sale], in accordance with the JCPOA. If there is a client, he can buy it, according to the JCPOA. We do not have any commitments, according to the JCPOA. Incidentally, some of the 30 tons have not been fully converted to heavy water. They are undergoing the process of conversion, which will be completed in a month or two. This will give us 30 tons of heavy water. We will offer this quantity for sale, and if there is a client, we will pass this quantity to him. This is not one of the conditions of the JCOPA. This can also take place after the implementation of the JCOPA. The other side insists that we do this before the implementation of the JCOPA. Well, in my view, this demand is not part of what was agreed upon. We are currently conducting negotiations. We do not have any problem. We are willing to send the above-mentioned quantity, but only if a customer shows up who is ready to pay the price and receive the load. We do not have any problem with that. I'd like to tell you about a suggestion that we made. We are prepared to accept natural uranium, in the event that the costumer does not have all the [cash to pay for the heavy water], just like our fuel exchange with Russia.
We are ready to do the same thing with heavy water. Instead of receiving cash, we will get yellow cake. It is the same for us. [We are ready to do this] with any country that shows willingness. Naturally, we conducted negotiations with the U.S., which is the largest heavy-water buyer in the world. India, France, and Canada also buy heavy water.