Iran is producing new isotope to expand its nuclear program

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The nuclear chief says Iran is determined to advance its nuclear program despite Western efforts to limit the country’s heavy water production.

The West increased pressure to eventually dismantle Iran’s heavy water production facilities, as it did in some Eastern European countries; said Mohammad Eslami.

Thanks to effective actions by the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s nuclear program is expanding every day and is having a “profound impact” on people’s livelihoods and the health system, he added.

He made the remarks during an inauguration ceremony for the manufacture of home-grown kits for newborn screening tests to detect metabolic diseases on Tuesday.

“We managed to obtain the oxygen-18 isotope in the process of heavy water production,” Tasnim quoted Eslami as saying.

The oxygen-18 isotope is widely used in various sciences such as environmental, biochemistry, diagnosis and medical treatment.

Eslami said the kits, used to detect the metabolic status of newborns, used to be imported into the country in limited numbers, adding that “Iran is now among the top five countries producing the kits.”

“The kit was produced within a year and we have plans to export it as well,” he added.

Last January, Iran’s nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said the country is currently producing enough heavy water domestically and is even exporting surpluses to eight countries.

He said the country must have its own nuclear power plants and produce the fuel and nuclear medicine needed for those plants.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump, a vocal critic of the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six other countries — the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany — unilaterally withdrew Washington from the deal, unleashing the “toughest ever.” “-Sanctions against the Islamic Republic despite global criticism.

After its much-criticized exit, Washington is trying to prevent the remaining signatories from honoring their commitments, thereby scuttling the historic deal widely seen as the fruit of international diplomacy.

Iran has been in full compliance with the JCPOA for a full year, waiting for the co-signers to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impact of the American bans on Iran’s economy.

However, as the European parties failed to do so, the Islamic Republic moved in May 2019 to suspend its JCPOA obligations under Articles 26 and 36 of the Tehran Legal Rights Accord.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s victory in the US election and his pledge to return the country to the multilateral accord have raised hopes for a revival of the JCPOA. Since April 2021, several rounds of negotiations have been taking place in the Austrian capital to bring the US back into the Iran deal, with the EU as coordinator leading the talks.

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