WASHINGTON (AP) – A last-minute fight over a Republican effort to undercut the Iran nuclear deal and scuttle US plans to buy Iranian “heavy water” threatened to derail the appropriations process in the Senate.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas offered an amendment to the energy and water bill to restrict the purchase. The Obama administration said last week it is buying 32 metric tons of heavy water, which is formed with a hydrogen isotope, to help Iran meet the terms of the landmark deal in which Iran agreed to curb its atomic program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Democrats called the amendment a “poison pill” that would draw a veto from President Barack Obama. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said lawmakers were blindsided by Cotton’s amendment.