News / Middle East

US Senate Panel Will Move Ahead on New Iran Sanctions

Reuters
The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will move ahead with a package of tough new sanctions on Iran after the negotiating session over its nuclear program ends in Geneva on Friday, the committee's chairman said on Thursday.
 
Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told him to go ahead with the mark-up - or consideration - of the bill, a step toward bringing it to the full Senate for a vote.
 
“We'll wait until the Geneva meeting is over with, but I talked to Harry Reid about it yesterday and he wants to mark up,” Johnson told Reuters outside the Senate chamber.
 
He said the date of the mark-up, during which senators present amendments to the legislation and vote whether to send it to the full Senate, had not been determined as of Thursday.
 
President Barack Obama's administration has been pushing Congress to hold off on more sanctions against Iran to let the delicate diplomatic talks over Tehran's nuclear program unfold.
 
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Geneva on Thursday that it and six world powers were making progress in the talks, although the discussions were “tough.”
 
And in Washington on Thursday, a White House spokesman said the powers negotiating with Iran would consider a limited pullback of sanctions in exchange for clear evidence that Tehran is taking steps to stop its nuclear program from advancing.
 
But Congress tends to take a harder line on Iran than the administration. Many lawmakers, including several of Obama's fellow Democrats, believe that tough sanctions brought Tehran to the negotiating table and insist that more are needed to discourage it from developing a nuclear bomb.
 
Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.
 
Sanctions imposed last year by Washington and the European Union have combined to slash Iran's oil exports by roughly 1 million barrels a day, depriving Tehran of billions of dollars of income and driving up inflation and unemployment.
 
The Republican-led House of Representatives passed its version of a stiffer sanctions bill in July. But the Senate, where Democrats control a majority of the seats, put off moving ahead with its bill after the administration asked for more time to pursue the talks.
 
The House bill among other things seeks to slash Iran's oil exports to nearly zero. The Senate bill has been widely expected to be less stringent.
 
The timing issue became more complicated after a handful of senators, including Republican Mark Kirk, a banking panel member, said they might go ahead with a sanctions package even if the banking committee held off.
 
Kirk and a few other Republicans said they were considering introducing a stiffer package of Iran sanctions as an amendment to a defense authorization bill that is expected to be debated in the Senate during the week of Nov. 18.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More