Iran ships out heavy water to Oman

Iran transfers 11 tons of heavy water to Oman, after IAEA found it to be in violation of amounts allowed in nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

A view of the Arak heavy-water project
A view of the Arak heavy-water project

Iran on Tuesday said it transferred 11 tons of heavy water, which can be used in the production of nuclear arms, to Oman, reports The Associated Press.

The head of Iran's nuclear program, Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted by official media as saying that the heavy water, which is used to cool reactors that produce plutonium, was transferred to the Arab country.

AP noted that Oman often serves as a mediator between Iran and the West.

The announcement comes after a recent report from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found that Iran exceeded its heavy water limit by 100 kilograms (220 pounds) over the 130 metric tons allowed under last year's nuclear agreement.

The violation is a small but significant one, and it marks the second time in recent months that Iran exceeded the amount of heavy water it is allowed to possess under the deal.

Following the second violation, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano chided Iran and said, "It is important that such situations should be avoided in future in order to maintain international confidence in the implementation" of the deal.

Despite the two violations, the IAEA indicated this past September that Iran had kept to the nuclear deal.