News ID: 188353
Published: 0752 GMT February 25, 2017

Salehi: Iran plans to buy Kazakh uranium ore

Salehi: Iran plans to buy Kazakh uranium ore

Iran plans to buy 950 tons of uranium ore from Kazakhstan over three years and expects to get Russian help in producing nuclear fuel, its top nuclear official said in remarks published on Saturday.

The acquisition would not violate Iran's landmark 2015 deal with world powers over its nuclear program as the deal did not set limits on the Islamic Republic's supplies of uranium ore, Reuters reported.

"About 650 tons is to be delivered in two shipments over two years and 300 tons during the third year and this shipment is to be returned to Kazakhstan (after enrichment)," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told ISNA in an interview.

Iran has asked a body overseeing its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers to approve the purchase of uranium ore and was still awaiting Britain's agreement, Salehi said.

"Five of the members of the committee overseeing the (nuclear deal) have given their written approval, but Britain changed its mind at the last moment, considering the US elections and Middle East problems," Salehi said, without elaborating.

"In nuclear talks ... we reached a final agreement on jointly producing nuclear fuel with Russia," Salehi said. "We asked for their help in this regard... and it was agreed for the Russians to give us advisory help."

The report by ISNA comes a day after the UN atomic watchdog said Iran's official stock of enriched uranium had fallen by half after large amounts stuck in pipes was recategorized as unrecoverable under a process agreed with the major powers.

In its quarterly report on Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the Islamic Republic has stockpiled roughly half of the enriched uranium allowed under the nuclear agreement.

The IAEA's latest report also said Iran has not exceeded the permitted level of 130 tons of heavy water. The deal requires that Tehran sell or dilute the extra amount of its heavy water.

The nuclear agreement brokered by Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States lifted sanctions against Iran in return for limits on Tehran's nuclear program.





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