Iran sanctions bill advances in Senate

A key Senate committee advanced new Iran sanctions.

The Senate Banking Committee on Jan. 29 voted 18-4 to advance a bill authored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to the full Senate, although some of the lawmakers who approved noted that the measure would not be considered until March 24 at the earliest.

Menendez has said that Democrats will delay voting on the bill until then to give time for the talks between the major world powers — including the United States — and Iran on swapping sanctions relief for guarantees that Iran is not advancing toward a nuclear weapon.

March 24 is the deadline for a framework of an agreement; June 30 is the deadline for a final deal. The Obama administration opposes new sanctions now, saying that their passage would unravel the talks.

The bill adds new sanctions that would trigger if the talks fail or Iran reneges. A number of amendments that would weaken presidential discretion on implementing the sanctions failed.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which backs the bill, praised its advance. — jta


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.