Tags: Iran | Tom Cotton | Purchase | Heavy Water | Iran

Sen. Tom Cotton: Purchase of Heavy Water From Iran No Laughing Matter

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 02:54 PM

Sen. Tom Cotton shot back Thursday at the White House's jest against his amendment blocking the purchase of heavy water from Iran, saying that it's a "very serious matter" to keep the United States from subsidizing Iran's nuclear program.

"This guy at the White House may think it's a laughing matter to subsidize Iran's nuclear program, but I don't. I think it's a very serious matter," the Arkansas Republican said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"We are not obligated to take the heavy water; we certainly are not obligated to provide U.S. taxpayer dollars to Iran's nuclear program for that heavy water."

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats would not end debate on the appropriations bill because of the amendment, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said another vote would be held because the dispute "is yet a new way to blow up the appropriations process," reports The Hill.

Also on Wednesday, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said that there is not likely to be support in the Senate for the amendment, and that Cotton is "certainly no expert when it comes to heavy water."

"I'm confident that he couldn't differentiate heavy water from sparkling water, Earnest continued.

Cotton initially responded through Twitter:


On Thursday, he told the MSNBC program that he believes he probably has a "vet-proof majority" when it comes to the legislation.

"Heavy water is not radioactive, not dangerous in normal quantities, but it is an essential part of any nuclear program like Iran's," said Cotton. "Iran is required to reduce its heavy water stocks under nuclear deal that President Obama signed with them last year.

"However, we are not obligated to take that heavy water. We certainly aren't obligated to provide taxpayer dollars for Iran's program for that heavy water."

Cotton said his "simple amendment" said the taxpayers would not subsidize more appropriation bills such as the current one, and Democrats blocked the amend and the bill from going forward, "even though we have a large majority in favor of my proposal."

Last week, the Energy Department confirmed the purchase of 32 tons of heavy water, which could be used in the production of atomic weapons, for $8.6 million, with the Obama administration saying the move is planned to reduce Tehran's supplies, reports The Hill.

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Sen. Tom Cotton shot back Thursday at the White House's jest against his amendment blocking the purchase of heavy water from Iran, saying that it's a "very serious matter" to keep the United States from subsidizing Iran's nuclear program.
Tom Cotton, Purchase, Heavy Water, Iran
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2016-54-28
Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 02:54 PM
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