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)