Iran will sell nine tons of enriched uranium to Russia, said the head of Iran’s nuclear agency Ali Akbar Salehi on Saturday.
The transfer would happen “in the coming few days,” according to Iran’s official news agency.
Under the terms of the deal it reached in July with world powers, Iran must reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium to around 300 kg (660 lb) and mothball most of its centrifuges.
In exchange, the U.S. Department of Energy will help modernize Iran’s Arak nuclear reactor and U.S., European and United Nations economic sanctions will be lifted. The modernized reactor will not produce weapons-grade plutonium, but will be redesigned to a lower power level to produce smaller quantities of plutonium that won’t be weapons grade. Lower quality plutonium, however, could still be used to make low-tech nuclear explosives often called “dirty bombs.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency agreed to close its investigation of the military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program Tuesday.
Under the terms of the deal, Iran is supposed to reduce its stockpiles of enriched uranium along with its capacity to enrich new uranium. Over the next 15 years, Iran will enrich uranium to levels below those required to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran also won’t build any new uranium-enriching facilities, except the Arak facility.
The Iranian government said Arak’s nuclear materials would not be turned into weapons-grade plutonium, but similar reactors have been used for weapons-grade production in other countries, including India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan. All of those countries now possess nuclear weapons.
Iran tested the kind of ballistic missiles which could carry nuclear warheads in October of 2015, which U.S. officials called clear violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
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