Iran General NewsDems, GOP seek tougher action on Iran

Dems, GOP seek tougher action on Iran

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ImageUPI: U.S. congressional Democrats joined Republicans in calling for tougher action against Iran, with two bills seeking sanctions in the works in the two chambers.

United Press International

ImageWASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) — U.S. congressional Democrats joined Republicans in calling for tougher action against Iran, with two bills seeking sanctions in the works in the two chambers.

A measure expected to be introduced in the Senate this week would authorize sanctions against companies involved in supplying gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran, Politico reported. A similar bill is being developed in the house.

Congressional leaders of both parties have warned the Obama administration that its policy of engaging Iran should not last too long before employing harsher measures aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear program, the Washington publication reported Sunday.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian power, but it has refused to suspend production of low-enriched uranium, despite U.N. Security Council sanctions.

While advocating engagement publicly, administration officials said privately that having a congressional threat of sanctions isn't so bad because it might make direct talks the United States is offering Iran and its allies more productive.

At least one member of Congress agrees, Politico said.

"I don't think there's anything inconsistent about moving on both fronts — maximum sanctions and maximum negotiations," said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.

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