Iran Nuclear NewsKey US lawmaker: Time for new Iran sanctions

Key US lawmaker: Time for new Iran sanctions

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ImageAFP: A senior US lawmaker said Friday that it was time to impose punishing new US sanctions against Tehran in response to the revelation of a previously secret Iranian nuclear facility. ImageWASHINGTON (AFP) — A senior US lawmaker said Friday that it was time to impose punishing new US sanctions against Tehran in response to the revelation of a previously secret Iranian nuclear facility.

"They have to know it's a painful choice that they have made in hiding facilities that enrich uranium," Democratic Representative Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC television.

Skelton pointed to legislation before the US Congress aimed at cutting off Iran's gasoline and other refined petroleum imports and said "I think we need to push those sanctions as best we can."

Skelton brushed aside the possibility that oil-rich Iran — which lacks domestic refining capacity and therefore relies on imports for 40 percent of its gasoline consumption — might retaliate by cutting off petroleum exports.

"I don't know what they would do, but I think we need, regardless what they try to do, we need to push those sanctions," said the lawmaker, who described the news Iran had a second, secret uranium enrichment site, as "very troubling."

"If they were on the level, if they were really trying to do this for peaceful purposes, they would not go around hiding the facilities where they're enriching this uranium," he said.

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