The failure of negotiations between six world powers and Iran over its disputed nuclear program has jumpstarted the congressional push for even tougher sanctions aimed at crippling the economy in Tehran.
The latest talks this past weekend in Kazakhstan proved inconclusive as the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany pressed Iran to significantly limit its production and stockpiling of uranium enrichment. The stalled negotiations gave fresh impetus to bipartisan legislation in the House to impose new sanctions on Iran while Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was putting together a package of penalties likely in the next week or so, according to congressional aides and sanctions experts.
The penalties are certain to draw strong bipartisan support as lawmakers, fearful of Iran’s ambitions and worried about its threat to Israel, have overwhelmingly embraced past sanctions legislation. The latest effort would mark the fifth time since June 2010 that Congress has slapped penalties on Iran.
“I’m concerned Tehran is only using talks as a delaying tactic…,” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.