US Congress readies Iran sanctions if diplomacy fails
The US Congress is ready to act swiftly to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if international talks on Tehran`s nuclear programme show signs of faltering.
Washington: The US Congress is ready to act swiftly
to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if international talks
on Tehran`s nuclear programme show signs of faltering.
Already, some lawmakers are demanding that the United
States strike immediately with new penalties rather than wait
for an uncertain multinational consensus.
Democratic Sen Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate`s
banking committee, and others are working on plans to expand
sanctions significantly if current diplomatic efforts to
curtail Iran`s alleged nuclear weapons programme fall short.
"Congress must equip President (Barack) Obama with a full
range of tools to deal with the threats posed by Iran," Dodd
said, outlining measures to expand sanctions to cover a wider
range of financial transactions, including a new ban on
exporting refined petroleum to Iran. His committee plans a
hearing on the subject Tuesday.
Obama said talks on Thursday in Switzerland among Iran and
six world powers, during which Iran indicated it would open
its newly disclosed nuclear plant to UN inspectors, were "a
constructive beginning." He added, however, that Iran must
match its words with actions.
The President said his administration, in conjunction
with Congress, is crafting plans that could target Iran`s
energy, financial and telecommunications sectors. The hope is
to gain a united international front that includes China and
Russia, countries reluctant in the past to restrict trade with