Europe

Diplomats: World powers OK natural uranium shipment to Iran

FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif answers questions from lawmakers in an open session of parliament in Tehran, Iran, explaining the nuclear deal with world powers.  Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, according to unidentified Iranian diplomats Monday Jan. 9, 2017, in a move approved to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact.  (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, FILE)

FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif answers questions from lawmakers in an open session of parliament in Tehran, Iran, explaining the nuclear deal with world powers. Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, according to unidentified Iranian diplomats Monday Jan. 9, 2017, in a move approved to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, FILE)  (The Associated Press)

Two senior diplomats say that the six world powers that negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran have approved a large shipment of natural uranium to the country as compensation after Tehran exported tons of heavy water.

The diplomats say that the agreement foresees delivery of 116 metric tons (nearly 130 tons) of natural uranium from Russia. They demanded anonymity Monday because their information is confidential.

Uranium can be enriched to levels ranging from reactor fuel to the core of an atomic bomb. Iran says it has no interest in such weapons, and is expected to use the shipment for peaceful enrichment permitted under the nuclear deal.

Heavy water is used to cool reactors that can produce large amounts of plutonium — like enriched uranium, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.

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Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee contributed from Washington.