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US Congress pushing for tougher Iran sanctions

January 15, 2015, 9:16 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
The bill envisages expanding sanctions against Iran if no agreement is reached with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany on cutting its nuclear program
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© EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

WASHINGTON, January 15. /TASS/. Republican and Democratic US lawmakers have completed a new bill on further Iran sanctions and plan to start the discussion already next week, despite the White House warnings.

New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to move the bill to the floor in late February or early March.

The bill envisages expanding sanctions against Iran if no agreement is reached with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States) and Germany on cutting its nuclear program.

The tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic are to be finalized if no final deal is reached by June 30.

If adopted, the legislation could negatively affect the discussion and hamper the effort of reaching a final agreement with Tehran. US President Barack Obama confirmed on Tuesday that he opposes the initiative.

The document on more sanctions against Iran was drafted by Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Robert Menendez last year, but it failed to receive the necessary support as the Senate was controlled by the Democrats.

The Republicans, who gained control of the Senate in the mid-term election in November, now hope that the bill will be adopted. It is unclear whether they will secure the two-thirds vote needed to override a presidential veto.

In addition, another bill is being prepared in the Congress which envisages that any agreement, which will be concluded on Iran’s nuclear program, has to undergo a ratification process.

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