Oxygen-18 to import currency to Iran; AEOI head

TEHRAN, Feb. 23 (MNA) – The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali-Akbar Salehi, said Oxygen-18, a natural isotope of oxygen, which has its uses in the medical industry, will import currency to Iran.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday while visiting an exhibition on technology and industry in Tehran, Salehi expressed gratitude towards young Iranian scientists for their intense four-year-long endeavor leading to the production of the isotope of oxygen.

Calling it  a great achievement which is done only by few countries, Salehi said "the development has rendered Iran independent of foreign contribution."

It will keep Iran self-sufficient and in a strategic position, he added.

Regarding Europe's promise of fulfilling its commitments to Iran nuclear deal, and the possibility of Iran's withdrawal from JCPOA, Salehi said as the Leader of Islamic Revolution expressed very clearly the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are monitoring their measures; we won't make emotional decisions on this.

"We will make the necessary decisions, based on the facts and accurate monitoring of the developments," he said, adding the supervisory board and the Leader will issue necessary instructions and orders, if they conclude that our commitment to the deal is ineffective.

Oxygen-18 is used as precursor for medical radioisotope Fluorine-18 production, which is used in PET (positron emission tomography). PET is a type of imaging test that helps reveal how tissues and organs are functioning.

Iranian scientists managed to produce Oxygen-18 at a west-central nuclear research reactor. Salehi announced the product during a ceremony in Markazi province on February 4. He said the isotope is produced at 97 percent purity, noting that by harnessing the technology at Khandab Research Reactor in the province, the Islamic Republic had broken the international monopoly of its production, which was previously held by only five countries.

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News Code 142788

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