US house bans government purchase of Iran heavy water

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The House votes against the purchase of heavy water from Iran. (file photo)

The US House of Representatives has voted to bar the American government from purchasing heavy water from Iran in the future.
On Wednesday, 251 lawmakers voted for the bill which prohibits US tax dollars from being used to buy Iranian heavy water.
The comes a couple of weeks after US media reported that the administration of President Barack Obama was moving to finalize a deal with Tehran worth $8.6 million to buy heavy water from Iran.
Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in April that Iran under a deal with the US would sell 32 metric tons of heavy water to the country – what was seen as a major step in the commercialization of Iran’s nuclear energy program. 
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last August that Iran would begin to commercialize its nuclear technology after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – an agreement reached last July between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany (P5+1).
The latest move by the US House follows a similar amendment last month that was blocked by Democrats in the Senate shortly after Washington agreed to purchase heavy water from Iran.
Some Congress members, including pro-Israeli lawmakers, have long been trying to derail the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The JCPOA took effect on January 16 and all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted as a result in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. Yet, hardliners, basically Republicans, in the US have been pushing against the deal.
The JCPOA gives Iran the right to sell, dilute or dispose of the heavy water it has produced under certain conditions.
It also allows Iran to sell its enriched uranium material – called UF6 – and to buy natural uranium or “yellow cake” in return.
It also allows Iran to sell its enriched uranium material – called UF6 – and to buy natural uranium or “yellow cake” in return.

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