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house Bill H.R. 5119

Do U.S. Purchases of Iran’s Heavy Water Need to be Blocked?

Argument in favor

The U.S. shouldn’t be providing Iran with millions of dollars in exchange for its excess heavy water. Iran needs to comply with the terms of the nuclear agreement, but American taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill.

Jennifer's Opinion
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07/13/2016
All purchases from countries that support terrorism should be blocked.
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Mitch's Opinion
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07/13/2016
Iran has proved they are not to be trusted. He need to cut off all ties with Iran and cut off the Iran deal.
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Mathew's Opinion
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07/13/2016
Fueling the evil empire that is Iran is short-sighted and stupid stupid stupid
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Argument opposed

By trying to obstruct the purchase of Iran’s heavy water this bill’s proponents would interfere with the implementation of the nuclear deal, making it more likely that Iran would breach the agreement and pursue a nuclear weapon.

Aaron's Opinion
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07/13/2016
We can't back out of a part of a deal we already made. It ruins our credibility as a nation. If we don't stick to our peaceful agreements, then they might think we won't follow through on threats.
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David's Opinion
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07/13/2016
Another political ploy for Congress to take over US foreign policy from the President. It should be defeated.
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Lesia's Opinion
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07/13/2016
If we want to be the world's police, and apparently we do, then we don't get to refuse to follow the rules we agreed to.
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What is House Bill H.R. 5119?

This bill would prohibit all federal departments and agencies from purchasing or issuing a license to purchase heavy water that was produced by Iran. Heavy water is used as a moderator in nuclear reactors, including those that fuel research reactors, generate electricity, or that produce weapons-grade plutonium.

The terms of the nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S., and other nations, Iran has to reduce its supply of heavy water to prevent it from having enough to develop a nuclear weapon in secret. In April 2016, the Obama administration announced that it would buy 32 metric tons of Iran’s heavy water for $8.6 million to be used in meeting U.S. research needs, though there are no current plans for additional purchases.

Impact

American entities that would handle Iranian heavy water; the Iranian government; and the U.S. government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5119

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Following the Obama administration’s announcement that it would buy heavy water from Iran, sponsoring Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced this bill to block the purchase and any other which may be negotiated in the future. Pompeo expressed concerns that the money paid by the U.S. to Iran could be used to fund terrorism:

“Sending millions of dollars, which is a substantial amount of the Department of Energy’s budget for this program to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism defies logic and leaves our country less safe. By purchasing heavy water produced in Iran for use at a U.S. national laboratory, President Obama is encouraging future Iranian breaches.”

Through press secretary Josh Earnest, the White House pushed back against a similar proposal to block the heavy water purchase that was offered as an amendment in the Senate. Earnest called it an attempt at “undermining the effective implementation of this agreement that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

This legislation has the support of 36 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans.


Of Note: Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran is prohibited from having more than 130 metric tons of heavy water and it has prospective buyers other than the U.S., as Russia is considering purchasing 40 metric tons. Iran had shipped 20 metric tons of heavy water out of the country in February 2016 to bring itself in compliance with that portion of the agreement.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user martin_vmorris)

AKA

No 2H2O from Iran Act

Official Title

To prohibit the obligation or expenditure of funds available to any Federal department or agency for any fiscal year to purchase or issue a license for the purchase of heavy water produced in Iran.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
  • The house Passed July 13th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 249 Yea / 176 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedApril 28th, 2016

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    All purchases from countries that support terrorism should be blocked.
    Like (14)
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    We can't back out of a part of a deal we already made. It ruins our credibility as a nation. If we don't stick to our peaceful agreements, then they might think we won't follow through on threats.
    Like (29)
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    Iran has proved they are not to be trusted. He need to cut off all ties with Iran and cut off the Iran deal.
    Like (11)
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    Fueling the evil empire that is Iran is short-sighted and stupid stupid stupid
    Like (9)
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    We should not be helping Iran in any way.
    Like (5)
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    The Obama administration over-stepped its authority, yet again, in negotiating with a sanctioned country that actively sponsors terrorism, and seeks to destroy our ally, Isreal. Once your realize that our President is our enemy, everything he and his administration does makes sense.
    Like (5)
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    Another political ploy for Congress to take over US foreign policy from the President. It should be defeated.
    Like (4)
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    We don't need to provide Iran with taxpayer money to do something within their capabilities and responsibilities.
    Like (4)
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    No American dollars to Iran! We don't NEED their heavy water; we can get it from Canada, if I'm not mistaken.
    Like (4)
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    If we want to be the world's police, and apparently we do, then we don't get to refuse to follow the rules we agreed to.
    Like (4)
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    What, aren't they peace loving? Oh wait, they have broken the treaty three times already.
    Like (3)
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    Until they begin to follow guidelines we should block their everything and do no business with them.
    Like (3)
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    We do not want Iran (among others) to have it & we certainly don't want them to break the nuclear treaty. Heavy water, just like weapons-grade nuclear material, needs to be kept from hostile nations as well as from those who wish to do (us) harm. A number of nations, international agencies & organizations can purchase or help offset the cost to obtain this dangerous, radiological material. Making American tax-payers bear the entire cost is reprehensible & a new, clear waste of resources.
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    Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, why is this even being considered?
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    We shouldn't buy as much as a bag of Iranian pistachios until they stop sponsoring Islamic terrorism.
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    Why buy anything from someone intent on destroying our way of life? If we have a true life problem and it is the only place it can be bought; they have to comply with our purchase agreement and position in world politics!!!!!!!
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    Blocked yes. Pay for heavy water? Why, so Iran can't use it or an opportunity to transfer taxpayers money to support Iran's economy. Another question, does the U.S. need heavy water for it's research or military use? PS: The Obama administration did not brief top lawmakers about key details of an $8.6 million purchase of nuclear material from Iran for months after announcing the sale in April, according to interviews with multiple members of Congress.
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    If we buy anything from a country who sponsors terrorism, we are essentially sponsoring terrorism.
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    Buying heavy water from them is one way to keep them within treaty limits but when we send money to the Middle East we end up fighting people funded by our own country keeping the area in perpetual war. Iran needs to abide by treaty rules and stop producing heavy water in order to stay within treaty limits, not sell the excess for an ever increasing profit that they can use for their own secret research. And thinking that any country on this planet doesn't partake in secret, off the books research, then you are incredibly naive. We need complete transparency especially when it comes to nuclear weapons and the development of them. (Maybe if countries like Iran and yes, EVEN THE UNITED STATES, focused more of the nuclear research on clean energy production instead of weapons these countries might not be so inclined to WAR)
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    How stupid can you get Iran don't care about anything except killing us. It seems to be okay for Obama
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