Iran Nuclear NewsCongress to wait on bilateral sanctions on Iran

Congress to wait on bilateral sanctions on Iran

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AP: Congressional leaders putting together a new round of U.S. sanctions against Iran said Tuesday they will defer bringing their legislation to a vote to give the United Nations and the European Union a chance to first impose multinational penalties against the Tehran government over its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The Associated Press

By JIM ABRAMS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders putting together a new round of U.S. sanctions against Iran said Tuesday they will defer bringing their legislation to a vote to give the United Nations and the European Union a chance to first impose multinational penalties against the Tehran government over its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman said they had originally planned to come up with a bill this month that would strengthen existing bilateral sanctions against Iran and imposed new ones aimed at its gasoline supplies.

But the two Democrats, who are working out differences between House and Senate-passed bills, said they were changing that timetable due to the progress of the U.N. Security Council in coming up with a draft of a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

“We have always said that tough multilateral sanctions are the most effective means to persuade Iran to cease its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability,” they said in a statement.

They said they would await the outcome of the U.N. resolution and expected follow-on action by the EU at its summit next month to impose stronger sanctions on Iran in the energy, financial and other sectors.

They said they remain committed to passing their package of U.S. sanctions, which among other things would move to block exports to Iran of certain refined petroleum products, by the second half of June.

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