The Obama administration and other world powers approved a shipment of nearly 130 tons of natural uranium from Russia to Iran, senior diplomats told the Associated Press.
The diplomats, who did not wish to be identified, said the move sought to keep Tehran committed to the nuclear deal and was designed to compensate the Islamic Republic for exporting 44 tons of reactor coolant that can be used to create plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Tehran did not say what it would do with the uranium, ABC reported. Tehran could possibly store it or enrich it and export it for use as reactor fuel.
Iran has often said in recent months that it has no interest in developing uranium to make nuclear weapons, the AP reported.
David Albright, of the Institute of Science and International Security, said the uranium could be enriched to make enough weapons-grade uranium for more than 10 simple nuclear bombs, “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon,” the AP reported.
The Jewish Press pointed out that last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the country’s nuclear agency to develop nuclear engines that could use uranium enriched to 20 percent. That would imply a future violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, which allows Iran to enrich uranium only to 3.67 percent.