Iran exporting heavy water to eight countries, learning lessons from the U.S.'s past behaviors

January 12, 2021 - 17:8

​​​​​​​TEHRAN – The spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says not only Iran is producing enough heavy water to use for its own facilities, but even exporting the excess quantity to eight other countries.

In a televised interview on Monday evening, Behrouz Kamalvandi said Iran must have its own nuclear power plants and produce the fuel required for those plants as well as the nuclear medicine it needs. He also said Iran has never stopped producing heavy water and made a good progress in this regard.

Kamalvandi said, "Though there are ten or eight-year restrictions on our program imposed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal), they will be ultimately removed as time goes by, and we will have no limit by the tenth year."

"After the conclusion of the nuclear deal between Tehran and the other parties to the agreement, some countries were eve willing to invest in production of fuel required for Iranian nuclear power plants inside the country, but the Americans prevented them from doing so," he stated.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 agreement in May 2018, raising criticism from all around the world (except some of his allies in West Asia) for this unilateral action. This, along with Washington's exit from some other international treaties and leaving the World Health Organization, has brought several top politicians and officials around the world to the conclusion that the U.S. cannot be trusted as a partner or a party of any important deal, even by its most loyal allies.

For example, in an interview with the Tehran Times in December, Giorgio Cafiero, the chief executive officer of Gulf State Analytics (GSA), said, "Some Arab states in the Persian Gulf such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE supported Trump's 'maximum pressure' campaign against Iran. Yet others such as Qatar and Oman did not welcome the U.S.'s growing aggression against Iran in the Trump period. All Arab countries in the Persian Gulf have had to contend with the unpredictability and incoherence of Trump's foreign policy, which created greater doubt about the wisdom of remaining so dependent on the U.S. for security relations and prompted them to explore deeper partnerships with other powers such as China, France, Turkey, and Russia".

Some American and non-American analysts count this reckless behavior as one of the most important reasons for Trump's epic failure in the 2020 presidential elections. They argue when the new administration takes office on January 20, major policy changes will emerge in regard to the JCPOA and the U.S. commitment to its content. Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, told the Tehran Times in December that the European Union, Germany, and the Biden administration are united in their positions that full implementation of the Iran nuclear deal by each side is a "win-win".

"With one of the key supporters of the JCPOA entering the White House on January 20, the United States and Iran and the other parties to the agreement have an important opportunity restore compliance with the agreement, which will help restore confidence that Iran is not pursuing the development of nuclear weapons and will help provide the economic and financial relief that the Iranian people were hoping for when the JCPOA was concluded in 2015. Mr. Biden's public remarks clearly indicate that he supports a simultaneous restoration of compliance with the terms and obligations of the JCPOA. Biden, once sworn into office, can waive the application of the nuclear-related sanctions that the United States waived when Iran implemented its obligations under the JCPOA in January 2016, as well as other duplicative sanctions imposed by the Trump administration," Kimball explained.

Despite their disagreement with some actions taken by the U.S. government, the European troika (Germany, England, and France) accompanied Trump on most of his unlawful sanctions against Iran and failed to take any serious step towards fulfilling their obligations under the JCPOA. This, regardless of whether the incoming Biden administration return to the JCPOA or not, the issue of "guarantee to commit" has been raised in academic and political circles. Many analysts believe that even if Biden decides to return to the deal there is no guarantee that a Republican administration won't quit the nuclear deal again.

For example, Shashank Joshi, a defense editor at the Economist, told the Tehran Times in December that a possible Republican administration in the U.S. is likely to breach the nuclear deal again.

"There is no guarantee the next administrations won’t behave like Donald Trump’s and pull out of international deals unilaterally. Iran must contend with the risk that a Republican administration in 2024 will once more walk away from a deal. The JCPOA was divisive and controversial in the United States, and there will remain strong opposition to it in the Republican Party for years to come. The lesson of the Trump era is that America is highly polarized and that diplomatic agreements may be less enduring and stable than they were in the past," Joshi said.

In another interview, Mark Dankof, a former U.S. Senate candidate, told the Tehran Times that even under Joe Biden, there will be no substantive change whatsoever in American foreign policy and Iran cannot possibly be expected to trust the United States again after the unilateral withdrawal of the Trump administration from the nuclear deal.

"The proof of this is found in his historic Zionist connections, those same connections with his running mate Kamala Harris, and the foreign policy choices Biden has made or will make, beginning with Zionist Jew Anthony Blinken. Blinken is linked to Bill Clinton’s NATO war crimes in bombing Serbia in 1999, and the Obama-Hillary Clinton war crimes involved in bombing 7 Islamic countries, including Libya and Syria, where NATO was illegally used in Libya and Gaddafi was assassinated with Hillary Clinton’s mocking approval, and where the United States began using Sunni Wahabi extremists and terrorists from al-Qaeda and ISIS chapters to attempt overthrowing a sovereign government in Syria at the behest of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey," Dankof said.

Pointing to the assassination of Iranian top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and high ranking Iranian military official Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani as other reasons for distrust, Dankof added, "Iran cannot possibly be expected to trust the United States again after the unilateral withdrawal of the Trump administration from the JCPOA P5+1 nuclear deal, the subsequent American imposition of wartime economic sanctions on Iran, and obvious American involvement in and support for the [Gen.] Soleimani and Fakhrizadeh assassinations. I believe the more recent Fakhrizadeh murder, was undertaken by the Israeli Mossad and the MEK-MKO with full American connivance."

Iran has undertaken necessary measures to save the nuclear deal and IAEA inspectors have repeatedly confirmed that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful. Over the last couple of months, Iran has been taking five steps in scaling back its obligations, among them abandoning operational limitations on its nuclear industry, such as the level of uranium enrichment.

The most recent step was taken by Iranian Parliament in terms of a legislation which gives all parties to the JCPOA (especially the incoming U.S. administration) only two months (which ends on February 21) to fulfill their obligations under the JCPOA. Rafael Grossi, the IAEA chief, said on Monday, "We must take this seriously. Only a few weeks left to revive Iran nuclear deal."

Despite these practical steps to revive its peaceful nuclear program, several Iranian officials have repeatedly stated that Iran will come back to full compliance to its obligations under the JCPOA if all other parties deal do so.


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